Burke Cromer Cremonese secured a complete victory for a design professional in a case involving a pipeline spanning West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Third Circuit affirmed the district courtâ€™s October 2016 grant of summary judgement in favor of the design professional. In so ruling, the Third Circuit held that plaintiff-appellant could not assert a negligent misrepresentation claim against a design professional for their failure to identify all foreign crossings on a project when the contract with the owner only required the design professional to identify above-ground foreign crossings. Finding that a â€śdesign professionalâ€™s liability to a contractor arises from the design professionalâ€™s breach of its contract with the owner.â€ť Further holding that a design professional who signs a contract with an owner does not â€śassume duties of unknown scope owed to third-party contractors.â€ť
While the Third Circuit did not reach these two issues, Judge Bissoon also dismissed plaintiffâ€™s claim at the district court level because (1) plaintiff filed the claim outside the applicable statute of limitations period, and (2) plaintiff did not justifiably rely on Tricoâ€™s services in preparing its bid (a necessary element of a negligent misrepresentation claim). Plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $100 million dollars.
Read the Federal Circuitâ€™s order here.
The Burke Cromer Cremonese team responsible for the district court and appellate court victory included Michael Cremonese, Katherine Wrenshall, and Alexandra Farone.