Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 23, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on April 19, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports Sole Source Workers’ Compensation Statutes which protect engineers or engineering companies from litigation.
Current laws do not prohibit an employee injured while performing work at a construction project site from alleging negligence against a professional engineer or engineering company as a third-party when the worker’s injury has been covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation laws provide compensation for work-related injuries or death suffered by an employee, without the need for employees to demonstrate the employer’s negligence and prohibit employees from suing an employer for compensation. Employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance as a single, certain remedy to compensate employees if they are injured or killed during a work-related activity. However, current laws and statutes do not prohibit an injured employee from suing third parties, including a professional engineer or engineering company who are involved in the project where the worker’s injury or death occurs. A professional engineer or engineering company would be required to respond to the lawsuit even in the absence of negligence. In responding to a lawsuit with the absence of negligence the professional engineer or engineering company named as a party must expend resources which may not be recoverable.
Sole Source Workers’ Compensation Statutes maintain protection of injured workers while extending the immunity provided to employers under workers’ compensation laws to a professional engineer or engineering company, except when they are responsible under contract for the means and methods of construction or worksite safety or due to negligence. Such statutes are intended to reduce construction project litigation.
ASCE Policy Statement 508
First Approved in 2005