Missed evidence

A naval architect was instructed by the owner of a vessel to investigate the cause of continued cracking in the hull. The report produced by the naval architect attributed the blame to the original architects for their “negligent” failure to properly test the natural frequency of the plates, which caused excessive vibration of the hull.

On the basis of this report, the owner issued proceedings against the original architects. The original architects defended the claim successfully as they were able to produce evidence that they had adequately tested for the natural frequency of the plates and that any further testing would not reasonably be required. It subsequently turned out that the naval architect had this evidence in his possession before he produced his report, but had failed to realise its significance.The owner claimed from the naval architect the wasted costs of pursuing the original architects as a direct result of relying on their defective report.

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