Archive: January 6, 2009

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Contractual Limitation of Liability in Engineer / Survey Contract Upheld

Contractual Limitation of Liability in Engineer / Survey Contract Upheld

Blaylock Grading Co., LLP v. Smith, 658 S.E.2d 680 (N.C. Ct. App. 2008)

In this case, a grading contractor sued a surveyor (who was also an engineer) for breach of contract and negligence regarding mistakes in surveying work which resulted in the contractor having to incur costs to import fill to raise the elevation of the site.  The contract between the contractor and surveyor contained a provision limiting the surveyor’s liability to $50,000.  The surveyor unsuccessfully moved for partial summary judgment based on the limit of liability.  Following a jury verdict against the surveyor for $574,714, the surveyor moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which the trial court denied, ruling that the limit of liability was void as against public policy.  The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding that the limitation of liability was valid and enforceable.

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