The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 14-01 [Final (Synthesis)]

Practical Guidelines for Minimizing Tort Liability
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

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Transportation agencies are subject to increasing numbers of tort suits brought against them for improper performance and alleged deficiencies. The objectives of this synthesis are to familiarize organizations and their employees with this changing situation, make them aware of their duties and responsibilities to the traveling public, and recommend steps that can be taken to mitigate tort liability. Specific recommendations are set forth to minimize tort liability under each of a typical agency's functional areas--managing, planning, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining facilities. The proposed actions are directed primarily toward public agencies having responsibilities for highway systems. Much of the information presented, however, should also be of interest and value to other groups and functions. The same principles are applicable to all facets of a department of transportation. Much of the material is also pertinent to quasi-public agencies, such as toll highway authorities, and to private companies, such as highway contractors.   The report for this topic can be purchased at http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=3451

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