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Tort Law: Concurrent Tortfeasors Douglas Wilhelm Harder, M.Math. LEL Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Waterloo Waterloo,

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Presentation on theme: "Tort Law: Concurrent Tortfeasors Douglas Wilhelm Harder, M.Math. LEL Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Waterloo Waterloo,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tort Law: Concurrent Tortfeasors Douglas Wilhelm Harder, M.Math. LEL Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario, Canada ece.uwaterloo.ca © 2013 by Douglas Wilhelm Harder. Some rights reserved.

2 Outline An introduction to the engineering profession, including: –Standards and safety –Law: Charter of Rights and Freedoms, contracts, torts, negligent malpractice, forms of carrying on business –Intellectual property (patents, trade marks, copyrights and industrial designs) –Professional practice Professional Engineers Act Professional misconduct and sexual harassment –Alternative dispute resolution –Labour Relations and Employment Law –Environmental Law 2 Vicarious Liability

3 Concurrent Tortfeasors It is possible for more than one party to breach a duty of care which results in an injury –In this case, the damages would be covered by all parties Vicarious Liability 3

4 Concurrent Tortfeasors Consider the case of Corporation of District of Surry v Carrol-Hatch et al., 1979 –In designing a Police Station, the architect and engineers made two shallow test pits –The engineers recommended deep soil tests –This was rejected by the architect and the engineers submitted their report based on an examination of the shallow pits –Once the building was complete, settlement require significant additional structural changes –Deep soil tests would have revealed the issues affecting the building Vicarious Liability 4

5 Concurrent Tortfeasors In Corporation of District of Surry v Carrol-Hatch et al., 1979, the court found –The owner was relying on the professional judgment of both the architect and the engineers and this established a duty of care –The engineers could not remove that duty of care by accepting the architect’s decision when they did know or should have known better –The court allocated fault as follows: The architect:60 % The engineers:40 % Vicarious Liability 5

6 Professional Misconduct Can a professional engineer abrogate responsibility to another party? 72(2)(f) For the purposes of the Act and this Regulation, “professional misconduct” means, failure of a practitioner to present clearly to the practitioner's employer the consequences to be expected from a deviation proposed in work, if the professional engineering judgment of the practitioner is overruled by non-technical authority in cases where the practitioner is responsible for the technical adequacy of professional engineering work. Vicarious Liability 6

7 References [1]D.L. Marston, Law for Professional Engineers, 4th Ed., McGraw Hill, [2]Julie Vale, ECE 290 Course Notes, [3] Wikipedia, These course slides are provided for the ECE 290 class. The material in it reflects Douglas Harder’s best judgment in light of the information available to him at the time of preparation. Any reliance on these course slides by any party for any other purpose are the responsibility of such parties. Douglas W. Harder accepts no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any party as a result of decisions made or actions based on these course slides for any other purpose than that for which it was intended. 7 Vicarious Liability


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