Re: Student needs help

>Folks -
>I run the computer center at a community college. A student in our
>Architectural Technology department is doing a research paper on liability
>issues associated with an architect using software. If a design error
>occurs, under what circumstances is the architect liable, and when, if ever,
>is the software vendor liable? She's asked me for help.
>This is not my field, but I did promise her to try to use the magic of
>Internet to find help. Can anyone on this list advise us on where to look?
>Do any of you have either experiences or strong feelings on the subject that
>you would be willing to share? Anything to get us off ground zero would be
> TIA,
> John S. Mays
> Onondaga Community College
> Syracuse, New York 13215

To answer part of the question, no software company puts their stamp on a
drawing set, so they would have no liability whatsoever, that would be like
suing the pencil manufacturer. Even in the case of analysis software, I
believe that it is up to the designer to confirm the results, either based
on experience or an external consultant's report.
In terms of the architect's liabilty, it really depends on the case. Design
being a rather nebulous term, it allows the courts to sort out the issue.

Hope this helps.

Dwayne Sandall
Advanced Visualization Laboratory
Faculty of Architecture
University of Manitoba, Canada
(204)474-6963 (fax)275-7198
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