Black & Vernooy Architects v. Smith

Holding: Architect has no duty to third-parties related to undiscovered defects created by Contractor.


An Architect providing AIA Contract Administration sued by woman paralyzed when a balcony fell from a home. The subcontractor had used nails instead of bolts to attach it. The architect did not notice the lack of bolts during site observations. The contractor and owner settled, and a jury found the architect 10% at fault for failing to notice the problem. The Austin Court of Appeals sitting en banc reversed its initial decision, holding that the architect had no duty to third parties in regard to defects that had not been observed. The case is pending before the Texas Supreme Court on a petition for review.

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Published In: Construction Updates, Professional Malpractice Updates

Reference Info:Decision | State, 5th Circuit, Texas | United States


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