Architects and Engineers: Revocation of License

Architect’s and Engineer’s licenses can be placed on probation, suspended or even ultimately revoked if an architect or engineer practices without due care or engages in improper conduct relating to its profession. For example, an architect lost his license after offering a bribe to zoning officials. Daub v. Board of Regents of University of State of N.Y., 33 A.D.2d 964 (3rd Dep’t 1970). More often than not, an architect or engineer will lose his/her license due to egregiously poor quality of work or fraud. For example, in Brew v. State Ed. Dept., 73 A.D.2d 743 (3d Dep’t 1979), an engineer’s license was suspended when it was found that the engineer was practicing in a grossly negligent, fraudulent and unprofessional manner. Specifically, the engineer incorrectly calculated boundary lines, incorrectly described the parcel’s square footage and location and outline of the existing structure, showed a nonexistent ravine, made incorrect descriptions on a topographical survey and committed traverse closure errors. Id. The engineer’s errors were found to be gross and substantial in nature, warranting the suspension of the engineer’s license.

In Shapiro v. Board of Regents of University of State of N.Y., 29 A.D.2d 801 (3d Dep’t 1968), an engineer’s license was suspended connected to his performance of a contract to test a buildering’s ventilation system. The engineer certified that the building was in compliance with the building department rules despite several easily discoverable violations. As such, the state licensing board found that the engineer had practiced with gross negligence, incompetence and misconduct in the practice of engineering and unprofessional conduct based on the engineer’s failure to test the entire system, make inspections or to correct his certifications when he learned of the error. Furthermore, when the engineer became aware of the errors, he failed to notify the owner of the building or the city of the system’s severe defects.

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