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The debate over fiduciary responsibilities for engineers

from Engineering News-Record

Karen Erger, senior vice president of practice risk management at insurance broker Lockton Cos., warns engineers and architects to be on guard against contract language that would effectively burden them with fiduciary responsibility for a project. A fiduciary responsibility binds a professional to his or her client via a special legal and ethical relationship of trust. Physicians and accountants are covered by that standard, which requires that the client or customer's interest is paramount. When such language is proposed for architects or engineers, it is generally the exception. The American Institute of Architects isn't overly concerned and via a spokesman says the subject "hasn't come up among our members as a pressing issue." But a construction industry consultant, Ujjval Vijas, has been campaigning for designers to be subject to such a standard routinely, claiming it is in the best interests of the industry. more

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