#108 - Case History - Out of Scope Assistance Causes Problem


February 23rd, 2021

46 mins 49 secs

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About this Episode

GBA Case History Series – Case History #108 - Out of Scope Assistance Causes Problem


GBA has published over 100 case histories based on real-life events that have happened to geoprofessional firms. This episode in the series explores Case History #108, where a GBA-Member Firm provided suggested changes to a sewer pipe design in order to keep construction moving forward on a five-story senior-living facility. Four years later, swelling clays caused the sewer line to back-up and the lower-level slab began showing heaving related distress. That good deed with other project related complications resulted in a $25 million claim that required an extensive defense of contract limitations of liability, standards of care, and project documentation.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Project background [min. 2:10]
  • What were the major issues and causes of issues on the project? [min 8:00]
  • What was the claim by the client? [min. 9:00]
  • What was limitation of liability on the project? [min. 10:40]
  • What were findings? [min. 11:28]
  • Beginning of interview with Joe Geo. [min. 13:27]
  • Impacts to firm. [min. 18:10]
  • How did daily field reports contribute to this issue? [min. 25:30]
  • Discussion on Colorado law regarding residential work. [min. 27:15]
  • What does firm do differently now because of this case regarding residential work? [min. 29:15]
  • What happens when your insurance company gets involved? [min.30:57]
  • Where can you get a copy of this case history? [min 32:22]
  • Lessons learned. [min. 32:36]
  • Big takeaway. [min. 44:40]

Lessons Learned:

  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
  • Prevent Recommendations from Becoming Requirements
  • Do Not Unilaterally Deviate from the Scope of Services
  • It Pays to Be Your Brother’s Keeper
  • Documentation Can Be Your Best Defense
  • Consider Limitation of Liability During Your Go/No-Go Analysis



This episode was produced by the following GBA Members: