Engineering Professional Liability

 

APEGBC Investigations

When an engineer does not follow the Code of Ethics, or does not perform his work to the standards required by law, an engineer can be:

  • Punished with a fine
  • Restricted from doing certain kinds of engineering
  • Suspended from practicing engineering
  • In the worst case, have his or her license revoked.

APEGBC is the regulatory body responsible for making decisions about fines, restrictions, and suspensions for engineers. APEGBC maintains a Code of Conduct and certain Guidelines on the practice of engineering which are used to determine whether to apply a penalty or restriction to an engineer.

 

Important Links to Determine Whether you will be Punished:

The Engineers and Geoscientists Act

The APEGBC Code of Ethics

The APEGBC Bylaws

When APEGBC receives a complaint about an engineer, the first stage of the process is to investigate the complaint. APEGBC takes all complaints about engineers very seriously and will investigate each complaint aggressively and thoroughly. In my experience, the best way to resolve complaints with APEGBC is to be fully compliant with all of their requests. But before you give any response to APEGBC whatsoever, you should seek advice from a lawyer who is also an engineer.

After the investigation stage, APEGBC will make a determination as to whether professional misconduct has taken place. You still have a chance to save your reputation and your license at this stage if you can satisfy APEGBC that the breaches were minor and/or the breaches will not occur again in the future. Again, to ensure the best outcome, hire an engineering lawyer who understands the process.

 

Negligence Claims

Engineers can be liable to their clients as well as any member of the public when their conduct is careless, reckless or negligent. When an engineer’s conduct falls below the standard of care expected of an engineer, an engineer may be:

  • Involved in lengthy, costly and damaging lawsuits
  • Liable to pay to repair the damage cased
  • Liable to pay for a person’s injuries
  • And in the worst case, imprisoned.

Negligence claims can arise in a number of circumstances, such as giving poor advice, or failing to investigate thoroughly before writing a report.

ATAC LAW’s lawyers will defend engineers in negligence claims and construction liability claims.

Often an engineer will have an insurance policy which will cover the lawyer’s fees for the negligence claim, and the engineer if he or she is found to be negligent. However, if you are an engineer involved in a negligence claim, you should hire a lawyer who is also an engineer who understands the code of professional conduct better than any person who is just a lawyer.

Mike C. Stewart, P.Eng is a professional engineer and teaches engineers how to prevent negligence as an adjunct professor at UBC.

If you are an engineer and have been sued for negligence or are in trouble with APEGBC, contact Mike C. Stewart, P.Eng today.

 

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