What the FIU Bridge Collapse Says About Peer Review
Attorneys for the families of six people killed in the collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge are targeting companies that designed and built the bridge. For projects like this bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation requires a peer-review from an outside company before a project can begin. Unlike physicians, who enjoy immunity for most peer reviews, U.S. engineers do not have the same privilege, except in Missouri and Kansas. In this article for Engineering News-Record, Kenneth E. Rubinstein discusses why it is important for engineers to be careful in describing the work they would perform during the peer-review process.
Without immunity, it’s wise for engineers to be careful in describing the work they will perform in the review, says attorney Kenneth E. Rubinstein. “You could say load calculations all appear to be accurate but you could also say you have not examined the underlying foundations and assume it will be poured to the appropriate depth. What is standard is to call that out, to say outright that the underlying work was never verified.”