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Claiming Damages

Generally, privity of contract is not a prerequisite for recovery against an architect.[i]  Therefore, privity of contract is not required to claim damages for a person who is injured or killed as a result of an architect’s negligence in preparing plans or designs.[ii]

A third party not in privity with the architect may bring an action against the architect:

  • where the injury to the third party was foreseeable, or
  • where the architect’s negligence in design results in a defect imminently dangerous to the third party.[iii]

In some jurisdictions, distinct third parties whose reliance upon documents or information furnished by a professional architect constitutes the end and aim of the underlying transaction, may bring an action against that architect.[iv]  The contractor is liable to all those who may foreseeably be injured by the structure, not only when he or she fails to disclose dangerous conditions known to him/her, but also when the work is negligently performed.  This applies to contractors doing original work, making repairs, installing parts, as well as to supervising architects and engineers.  Furthermore, there may be liability for both negligent design and negligent construction.[v]

[i] A. E. Inv. Corp. v. Link Builders, Inc., 62 Wis. 2d 479 (Wis. 1974)

[ii] Easterday v. Masiello, 518 So. 2d 260 (Fla. 1988)

[iii] Chubb Group of Ins. Companies v. C.F. Murphy & Associates, Inc., 656 S.W.2d 766 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 1983); Samuelson v. Lord, Aeck & Sergeant, Inc., 205 Ga. App. 568, 423 S.E.2d 268 (1992).

[iv] Abstract Corp. v. Fernandez Co., 458 So. 2d 766 (Fla. 1984)

[v] Davis v. Canavan, 2003 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1057 (Conn. Super. Ct. Feb. 19, 2003)


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