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Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License
2

Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

(OP)
Greetings Colleagues,

I was wondering the other day under what circumstances would a PE may get sued and/or lose their license. Perhaps if a design that was stamped by a licensed PE led to an accident or an injury, how would that affect the person who stamped the drawing? Would a company absorb a lawsuit and PE penalized? Would that depend on weather that would be personal injury alone and/or design flaw?

I've not been taught on this subject. I'm a PE in United States. Please provide if there is a reference somewhere that discusses this topic.

Thank you,
EE

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

There are....millions of reasons you could get sued.
Conflict with an owner/client who thinks you didn't fulfill your terms of your agreement.
Your design had flaws and something fell down, cracked, deformed, failed to work, etc.
Your design had flaws that cost additional monies.
You messed up on a cost estimate.
You walked away from a project where you felt you needed to - but the client didn't want you to and felt damaged by it.
A contractor didn't follow your plans and things went wrong - the contractor sues you.

For losing your license - a lot of that depends on the nature of the issue, the particular state board governing your situation, whether someone notifies the board of your behavior, what that behavior is, etc.

Many times boards can levy fines, or suspensions, short of totally removing your license.

The classic example of losing one's license was the Kansas City Hyatt Regency collapse back the 1970's.

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

Here's a short revisit of the KC issue with respect to losing a license:
https://www.structuremag.org/?p=1751

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

You carry E&O insurance for the simple errors and omissions. Death, injury, and some expert's assessment of whether your negligence was egregious and/or willful will determine what the penalty will be.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

It is pretty hard to get your license revoked. You have to show either persistent willingness to violate the boards regulations or be negligent with fatalities. Being unethical and doing stuff like bidding on projects against your employer isn't enough. It is much easier to get sued though I haven't seen a suit that went after the engineer instead of the company, which has much deeper pockets.

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

IME engineers must have serious ethical or criminal issues against them to lose their license. The few cases I've known have all seen the engineer booted out of other professional societies and/or facing criminal court before a state board intervened.

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

In the Texas Board of Engineers newsletter, the only people that get booted are people who just got convicted of felonies.

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

It depends on the jurisdiction. P.Eng. licenses are creatures of statute law. That means each jurisdiction handles it differently according to the law of that land. In Canada and the US, this is at the state/province level, which means 60 different jurisdictions plus however the territories in both countries handle things. However, that said, since these licenses are created by statute, they have to be removed under what is called "administrative law". Under common law principles, any decision made by administrative decision maker (ADM) may be appealed to the appropriate court of law, this right of law goes back to England. The standard of appeal would be based on "reasonableness" in Canada. This is contrast with the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" for criminal law, or "correctness" for a constitutional challenge. So the ADM only need to make a reasonable decision in revoking your licence, not the correct decision... at least in Canada.

In ductility we trust.

RE: Under What Circumstances a PE May Lose Their License

In NY, DUI, failure to make child support payments, and a felony conviction gets you into trouble with the Board. A felony conviction pretty much guarantees license revocation.

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