Duty To Report Safety Violations - Case No. 89-7

TitleDuty To Report Safety Violations - Case No. 89-7
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2006
Corporate AuthorsNational Society of Professional Engineers, Board of Ethical Review,
PublisherNational Society of Professional Engineers, Board of Ethical Review
KeywordsCivil , electrical , Engineer/Client , ENGINEERING , Mechanical , product , professional
AbstractEngineer A is retained to investigate the structural integrity of a 60-year old occupied apartment building which his client is planning to sell. Under the terms of the agreement with the client, the structural report written by Engineer A is to remain confidential. In addition, the client makes clear to Engineer A that the building is being sold "as is" and he is not planning to take any remedial action to repair or renovate any system within the building prior to its sale. Engineer A performs several structural tests on the building and determines that the building is structurally sound. However, during the course of providing services, the client confides in Engineer A and informs him that the building contains deficiencies in the electrical and mechanical systems which violate applicable codes and standards. While Engineer A is not an electrical nor mechanical engineer, he does realize those deficiencies could cause injury to the occupants of the building and so informs the client. In his report, Engineer A makes a brief mention of his conversation with the client concerning the deficiencies: however, in view of the terms of the agreement, Engineer A does not report the safety violations to any third party.