Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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Bad decision: Engineer leaves voicemail about cracks in the bridge.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | March 18, 2018

No. 1,444

Image: theepochtimes.com

According to this article in the Miami Herald, the fact that cracks started to appear in the Florida International University Foot Bridge (which collapsed when it had been used for only a few days) was not necessarily bad news. Maybe so, but that won’t sound very convincing to the jury, will it?

I wish only to point out the obvious.  Don’t ever leave just a voicemail about something that is potentially as dangerous as cracks appearing in a new bridge. By its nature, a voicemail is left when you don’t reach the other party. Which means, you don’t know when, if ever, the voicemail is heard or whether the right person heard it.  You also don’t know whether the recipient took it seriously enough to act on it immediately. The bridge may collapse before anyone even listens to the message.

At the bare minimum, make sure you actually communicate with the person who is responsible for making the decision what to do.  Make sure your communication is clear and understood. And make a record of it. A follow up email is essential.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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