Mock trial exonerates architect

December 01, 2002 |

A mock trial of an architect alleged to have failed to meet his professional responsibilities was a new feature of this year's Build Boston convention and trade show, held last month.

"Doug Diligent," the defendant, was hired to test the roof of a grade school for the presence of asbestos and then to restore the roof to weather-tightness. The issue centered on whether Diligent was responsible for injury to school custodian "Ms. Hurt," who was injured by snow and ice that fell from the roof as she approached a school entrance.

Should Diligent, in conjunction with the duties specified in his contract, also have advised the school board to install snow guards on the roof? Among the complicating factors was that Diligent had forwarded to the contractor, without comment, a rough sketch of a snow guard installation prepared by the school's physical plant director.

Diligent was found not liable for the incident — a not unexpected outcome of the all-morning session, since the verdict was rendered by the vote of an audience consisting primarily of architects.

Attendance at the three-day event totaled nearly 13,000, an increase of 1,500 from last year and the largest in Build Boston's 18-year history.

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