The National Academies

NCHRP 20-06/Topic 22-02 [Completed]

Liability of State Departments of Transportation for Design Errors
[ NCHRP 20-06 (Legal Problems Arising out of Highway Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $50,000
Research Agency: The Thomas Law Firm
Effective Date: 8/4/2015
Completion Date: 9/4/2016

How can a State DOT protect itself from liability arising from infrastructure design and product errors and omissions? State DOTs provide specifications and review, accept and/or approve designs and products. How has litigation defined the DOTs’ liability for errors in such infrastructure and product or materials designs? The research should include public and general construction law, professional liability law, and professional liability and comprehensive general liability insurance coverage issues. The research should also include the impact of product warranties. It should also explore any legal distinction between the DOT’s liability for accepting or approving a product or design and/or placing a product on an approved products list. The research should define and explore the scope of a DOT’s right to ban a product or design which it has previously approved. What is the effect of false representations/lack of disclosure for design defects?

STATUS: Completed. Published as NCHRP Legal Research Digest 74, Issue 74 

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