Engineer Must Face Trial on Alleged “Failure to Advise” Client of Prohibitively Expensive Dewatering Design

GeoEngineers got into a billing dispute with its developer client and filed an action to recover approximately $80,000 in unpaid invoices related to work investigating the feasibility of building on lots located in a slide-sensitive zone. The client returned the favor with a counterclaim, alleging the engineer had first said the dewatering system would cost only $1 million whereas the final bid for the system turned out to be $6.5 million, making the development economically nonviable. GeoEngineers won at the trial court level on summary judgment

The Court of Appeals reversed, ordering a full trial. The Court held the client should have an opportunity to prove at trial that the engineer violated the professional standard of care by not adequately disclosing the evolving & escalating cost of the dewatering system in a timely manner.

A copy of the opinion is also available here Download file