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CA Supreme Court Decision Increases Litigation Exposure of California’s Design Professionals

PDF Orange County Bar Association
Newport Beach, CA
April 1, 2015

Darren Barker spoke on a panel at the Orange County Bar Association’s Construction Law Section Meeting on “CA Supreme Court Decision Increases Litigation Exposure of California’s Design Professionals.”

The California Supreme Court decision in Beacon Residential v. SOM expands a design professional’s duty of care to future residential property owners, where there is no contractual relationship between the parties. The case holds that architects and potentially other design professionals, may now see themselves embroiled in the cauldron that is California Construction Defect Litigation. The case has far reaching implications beyond residential construction, and will undoubtedly impact the way construction business and litigation are conducted in the Golden State.

This presentation covered the factual background of the case; how the court arrived at its finding; how the case is applicable to all of California’s design professionals; and how this potential liability will impact future business for California Architects.

At the conclusion of this session, attendees learned:

  • How the California Supreme Court decision will impact ongoing business.
  • How the California Supreme Court decision upholding a duty in negligence to future homeowners can be expanded to commercial construction, as well as creating additional exposure for other design professionals. 
  • How construction professionals can defend themselves from this potential liability.

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