A building that you worked on is discovered to have a design defect. It costs time and money to fix the defect. Maybe someone actually got injured because of it. Either way, people start asking questions about your role in creating the defect. They may also be seeking financial compensation for whatever occurred.

Immediately, you have a lot of questions. Many of them surround the builders and contractors. You can only do the design, after all, not the work. Did you give them a flawless design and they made a mistake and failed to follow your plan? Or, did they do everything properly, which could indicate that the mistake was on your end?

It makes sense to ask these questions, but one more thing to look into is the role you actually had in the project. Your level of fault may vary — or you may not be at fault at all — depending on what was expected of you.

For example, maybe no one ever hired you to do the comprehensive planning and give them a final design. You were just there to hand down some preliminary design ideas, and your role was very limited. You fully expected them to bring on another team to complete the designs before building, as you were just getting it started. Maybe that other architect is actually the one who made the mistake, or maybe it’s the builder’s fault for using your preliminary design as a final design when that was never what you provided — or what they paid you for.

In a case like this, you’re not denying that there was a defect, but simply disputing the fault. Make sure you know exactly what legal options you have.