The California Supreme Court held last week that architects could be held liable to purchasers of houses and condominiums even in the absence of a contract between the architect and the purchaser. While this was not a significant change in the law, the ruling clarified a point of law that had been in contention for years. Design professionals and their insurance companies had argued that architects should not be responsible for defects in homes built by developers and contractors when the architect did not control the construction or sale of the homes. The Court disagreed and held that under established California law, architects could be held responsible under certain foreseeable conditions and factors that extend their duty of care for designing homes to home purchasers. The Court also chose not to decide whether the architects were liable to the homeowners under a 2002 statute known as the “Right to Repair Act.”
July 8, 2014
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