Architects Do Not Owe Special Duty of Care to Construction Workers

Leyden v. Spaulding & Slye Co., Inc., 2008 WL 241085 (Mass. Super. Ct. Jan. 3, 2008)

In this case the Superior Court granted an architect’s motion for summary judgment on claims brought against it by a construction worker for personal injuries sustained when the worker fell through a collapsed sump pump grate.  The defendant architect argued it was entitled to summary judgment because it owed no duty of care to the plaintiff.

The court found that the architect did not owe the worker a duty of care because, under the contract with the owner, the architect had no responsibility for the design of the sump pump, no responsibility for the work of the contractor or any subcontractors, no responsibility as a guarantor and no responsibility for how the grate should be affixed.  The court held that because there was no duty of care or responsibility, the actions of the architect did not amount to negligence and summary judgment was appropriate.

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