Plumbing Expert Allowed to Opine on Interpretation of Design/Build Specification

Plumbing and HVAC Expert Witness Russell Keeler of Chason Energy reports that he was involved in a matter where a contractor hired an engineer to create plans and specifications based on a performance specification issued by an owner.  The documents created by the engineer were used by the contractor to prepare a bid.  The performance specification was rather specific in terms of expected sound levels and temperature conditions in the various spaces.

The engineer developed bid documents, which the contractor then used to prepare his bid.  His bid price was low (by half) of the next bidder, and he was awarded the project.  When the plans were reviewed by the concept engineer, they were rejected.  The contractor was forced to provide an installation that conformed to the performance specification.

In the lawsuit, the contractor sued the engineer for the difference in cost between the bid price and the cost to install the required installation.  Mr. Keeler identified the areas that the engineer had taken liberties in the design.  The judge found for the contractor.