Professional Liability

Engineers, Architects and other Design Professionals

Engineers, architects and other design professionals are often sued for alleged design deficiencies when unforeseen defects arise. Forsberg & Umlauf excels at defending these professionals in either construction defect matters or in “stand alone” cases.

We bring our construction litigation experience to bear in vigorously defending design deficiency claims. These claims may allege errors that arise from defective plans or design, inadequate project equipment or materials, incompatible improper specifications, improper forecasting of requirements that result in inadequate labor, and failure to foresee and address conflicting site conditions.

Our litigation practice encompasses all areas of defense in the construction setting and we have successfully defended:

  • Architects
  • Civil and Mechanical Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • "Design/build" contractors
  • Construction bidders

Representative Matters

After over two years of litigation, Forsberg & Umlauf Shareholder Marty Pujolar was successful in having dismissed all claims against his professional engineer client from multiple claims filed by the City of Long Beach for alleged overbilled professional services.  Using dispositive motions in his litigation strategy designed to minimize potential exposure of the City’s multiple  contract claim theories, Consumer Protection Act claims and asserted attorney fees claims, Marty successfully eliminated all a single breach of contract claim.  Following the evisceration of the lion’s share of Plaintiff’s claims, Marty then focused on perfecting the pled counterclaim for unpaid fees for services which had been outstanding for over four years.  In negotiations outside of any formal mediation, Marty secured $30,000 in outstanding fees through his client’s counterclaim.  In sum, after incurring substantial costs to sue Marty’s client, The City of Long Beach recovered nothing and Marty succeed in recouping $30,000 on a counterclaim to the benefit of his client.

Forsberg & Umlauf recently defended a concrete subcontractor in a design build matter, which was alleged to have improperly planned for an adequate steel reinforcement resulting in the demand that a four story parking garage be demolished. We were able to establish that the client’s design build function was adequate and that the deficiencies with the parking garage stemmed from site conditions that were not identified by the owner’s geotechnical engineers.

In a matter involving the defense of an architect we successfully established that the plans were not followed by the contractor and that there were no deficiencies in the actual design. Rather, the error resulting from improper interpretation of the plans.

We represented a survey error alleged to have improperly located various sites on a building. We were able to successfully resolve the claim by establishing that there were effective, yet less costly alternatives to the plaintiff’s proposed repair.