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Liability & PE Question

Liability & PE Question

Liability & PE Question

Hello fellow eng-tips users:

Is the sale of independent technical research and reports a violation of acting as a professional engineer in a given state in the US (or I guess from country to country as well)?

If an engineer is licensed in one state, and does independent analysis for sale nationally/internationally, may he or she then sell that data or research to other engineers and public from state to state? Say for example technical reports on code interpretations, or for intellectual property evaluations?

What sort of liability issues might come up from this? Would someone need a G&O in case the technical information was incomplete? Is there some sort of waiver for allowing the customer to use and interpret this information?

A good example of this type of service is:

Thanks to all in advance! wavey2

RE: Liability & PE Question

Well, the SAE seem to think that that is legitimate.


Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Liability & PE Question

Violation of acting as a professional engineer is not the same problem as liability.

You can be acting as a professional engineer, in good ethics, and adherence to the law, and still be liable. Good 'ol US tort law.

By the same token, you can be in violation of your engineering statues, and not be liable under the insurance side of things.

One way to get away from liability, when you publish an interpretation, is to declare that you have no authority, and that the views are those of only you, and that the reader needs to consult and expert on this type of thing for his/hers specific application in the specific jurisdiction, blah, blah, blah.

Or better yet, talk to a lawyer that specialises in this sort of thing.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
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RE: Liability & PE Question

I posted this question on another web page,( nspe) This is a response I got from NSPE's General Counsel. I thought it might be interesting.

With reference to your question, the publication and sale of an article, text, treatise, report, etc., does not generally constitute the "practice of engineering" so long as it is not provided to an individual client for a specific purpose (e.g., the offering or rendering of a professional service unique to the client for a specific purpose/project). It may be advisible for the individual preparing the information to include a clearly identifiable disclaimer in the material (e.g., indicating that - "The information contained herein is intended solely for general information, background and guidance and is not intended to be used for a specific project or design, as tecnical and other conditions and circumstances vary from location to location. Consultation with a legally qualified licensed professional engineer in the subject jurisdiction is strongly advised").

RE: Liability & PE Question

This is good.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

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