CONTRACT WISH LIST FOR DESIGN PROFESSIONALS – PART III
This is Part III in a series discussing risk and liability mitigating terms and conditions that are beneficial to seek to include in your next design professional contract. In our first two installments, we imagined a scenario where you were given total contract drafting freedom to set terms and conditions and included: 1) a limit on the dollar amount of liability, 2) a restriction on claims for betterment and unforeseen/concealed conditions, and 3) a restriction on the scope of your indemnity obligations to the contracting party only and to only those damages directly caused by your alleged negligence, 4) defining the standard of care, 5) protecting yourself from clients who have insufficient knowledge of site conditions, and 6) requiring smaller and less complicated disputes to be resolved by arbitration.
I think we are still dreaming, but I am not entirely sure. Is this real? Whatever is happening, you continue to have the ability to insert beneficial terms and conditions into your next design professional contract. What else do you want in (or out of) your contract and why?
ARCHITECT PROTECTION FROM CLAIMS DUE TO OWNER’S OTHER CONSULTANTS’ ACTIONS
In projects where the client/owner contracts other licensed design professionals separately, these professionals must coordinate their designs with those of the architect or risk a scenario that could give rise to a claim, whether related to the Insured’s acts or omissions or those of another consultant that may ensnare the Insured. This often takes the form of a claim for alleged failure to detect and warn against potential issues in the drawings of other designers. However, reviewing the drawings of other designers beyond what is needed to ensure general conformance with design concepts essentially duplicates the work of other consultants where the architect has no authority over the consultant’s services. The AIA suggests the following contractual language in delineating your scope of services with respect to other consultants and protecting you from claims due to said consultants’ errors or omissions:
“The Owner shall contract separately for the design services listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, those services shall be performed by licensed professional consultants, who shall affix their seals on the appropriate documents prepared by them.
Please read the rest of the article HERE