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Forfeiture or Loss of Right to Compensation

An architect is a person who is trained and licensed in the planning and designing of buildings, and participates in supervising the construction of a building.  An architect is expected to hold the skill and ability to perform the required services at a reasonably good manner.  However, if an architect fails to perform the required skill and care in preparing plans, drawings and specifications, s/he will be liable for damage or extra expense caused to the employer.

Similarly, an architect’s right to compensation for services will be lost if s/he appears to be unskillful or negligent in preparing and furnishing defective plans and specifications.  Work done by an architect who appears to be below in professional standard is a non compliance with the contractual agreement entered between the layman and the employed architect.  It will relieve the layman who employed the architect of financial responsibility of the substandard work.[i] If an architect obtained a contract through an intentional misstatement of cost, s/he will be barred from recovery.

However, an action by an architect to recover for services under a contract in preparing plans and specifications and superintending the construction of a building, any slight omissions or imperfections in carrying out such contract is not regarded as an integral or substantial part of the contract and will not deprive the architect of his/her right to compensation.[ii] Similarly, even if any damage is sustained by the employer due to the negligence of an architect in preparing the plans and supervising construction, the architect can recover the contract price if s/he performed the contract in good faith.

[i] Graulich v. Frederic H. Berlowe & Associates, Inc., 338 So. 2d 1109 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1976)

[ii] Raitman v. McCune, 167 Okla. 511 (Okla. 1934)


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