Duncan v. Missouri Bd. for Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, No. 52655

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtSMITH; KAROHL, P.J., and KELLY
Citation744 S.W.2d 524
PartiesDaniel M. DUNCAN, Jack D. Gillum and GCE International, Inc., Appellants, v. MISSOURI BOARD FOR ARCHITECTS, PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 52655
Decision Date26 January 1988

Page 524

744 S.W.2d 524
Daniel M. DUNCAN, Jack D. Gillum and GCE International,
Inc., Appellants,
v.
MISSOURI BOARD FOR ARCHITECTS, PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND
LAND SURVEYORS, Respondent.
No. 52655.
Missouri Court of Appeals,
Eastern District, Division Three.
Jan. 26, 1988.

Page 527

Lawrence B. Grebel, St. Louis, for appellants.

Curtis F. Thompson, Jefferson City, for respondent.

SMITH, Judge.

On July 17, 1981, the second and fourth floor walkways of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City collapsed and fell to the floor of the main lobby. Approximately 1500 to 2000 people were in the lobby. The walkways together weighed 142,000 pounds. One hundred and fourteen people died and at least 186 were injured. In terms of loss of life and injuries, the National Bureau of Standards concluded this was the most devastating structural collapse ever to take place in this country. That Bureau conducted an investigation of the tragedy and made its report in May 1982. 1 In February 1984, the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors filed its complaint seeking a determination that the engineering certificates of registration of Daniel Duncan and Jack Gillum and the engineering certificate of authority of G.C.E. International were subject to discipline pursuant to Sec. 327.441 RSMo 1978. The Commission, after hearing, found that such certificates were subject to suspension or revocation. Upon remand for assessment of appropriate disciplinary action, the Board ordered all three certificates revoked. Upon appeal the trial court affirmed. We do likewise.

G.C.E. is a Missouri corporation holding a certificate of authority to perform professional engineering services in Missouri. Gillum is a practicing structural engineer holding a license to practice professional engineering in Missouri. He is president of G.C.E. Duncan is a practicing structural engineer holding a license to practice professional engineering in Missouri and is an employee of G.C.E.

Gillum-Colaco, Inc., a Texas corporation, contracted with the architects of the Hyatt construction to perform structural engineering services in connection with the erection of that building. By subcontract the responsibility for performing all of such engineering services was assumed by G.C.E. The structural engineer, G.C.E., was part of the "Design Team" which also included the architect, and mechanical and electrical engineers. 2 Gillum was identified pursuant to Sec. 327.401.2(2) RSMo 1978, as the individual personally in charge of and supervisory of professional engineering activities of G.C.E. in Missouri. His professional seal was utilized on structural engineering plans for the Hyatt. Duncan was the project engineer for the Hyatt construction in direct charge of the actual structural engineering work on the project. He was under the direct supervision of Gillum.

The Commission conducted twenty-seven days of hearing. Its "Statement of the case, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision" are 442 pages in length. Ninety-eight of those comprise findings of fact; 322 pages constitute the Commission's conclusions of law. The Commission made 180 numbered findings of fact, many containing multiple findings within the same number. Appellants have, in brief and at oral argument, challenged only five of those findings. One of the disputed findings is in fact a conclusion of law which we ignore as a finding of fact. At oral argument we requested identification of the specific facts in each finding which are disputed. To one finding there was no specificity given and our review indicates each fact statement therein is supported by evidence of record. One finding was objected to largely as a matter of degree of

Page 528

the facts stated. We find factual support for the findings therein engrafting thereon a limited scope compatible with the evidence. The specific facts challenged in the two remaining findings we find to have evidentiary support. We therefore review the decision of the Commission on the basis that the remaining 175 findings are factually supported by the record, and that four of the challenged findings are supported by the record.

Duncan was found to have been guilty of gross negligence in the preparation and completion of a structural drawing (S405.1, Sections 10 and 11); and in failing to review shop drawings of the Hyatt project (in particular Shop Drawing 30 and Erection drawing E3). He was further found guilty of misconduct in misrepresenting to the architects the safety of a connection (the double hanger rod-box beam connection) when he was ignorant of the safety due to a failure to perform engineering tests and calculations to determine such safety. Gillum was found vicariously liable and responsible for the acts and omissions of Duncan which liability and responsibility he assumed by affixing his professional engineering seal on the structural drawings. Sec. 327.411, RSMo 1978. He was further found grossly negligent in failing to himself review or assure that someone had reviewed drawing S405.1 before affixing his seal thereto. Gillum was also found to have engaged in unprofessional conduct in failing and refusing to take responsibility for the entire engineering project as, the Commission concluded, is required by Sec. 327.411.2, RSMo 1978. Finally, Gillum was found guilty of misconduct for his failure to perform a review of the Hyatt atrium design following specific request by the architect for such review, and for continuing misrepresentations to the owner and architect concerning such atrium design review. G.C.E. was found vicariously liable and responsible for the acts and omissions of Duncan and Gillum.

We will not attempt to set forth in detail the extensive evidence before the Commission. Some review of that evidence is, however, required. The atrium of the Hyatt was located between the 40 story tower section of the hotel and the function block. Connecting the tower and function block were three walkways, suspended from the atrium ceiling above the atrium lobby. The fourth floor walkway was positioned directly above the second floor walkway. The third floor walkway was to the east of the other two walkways. As originally designed the fourth and second floor walkways were to be supported by what is referred to as a "one rod" design. This consisted of six one and one quarter inch steel rods, three on each side, connected to the atrium roof and running down through the two walkways. Under this design each walkway would receive its support from the steel rods and the second floor walkway would not be supported by the fourth floor walkway. At each junction of the rods and the walkways was a box beam-hanger rod connection. These were steel to steel connections and the design of such connections is an engineering function, because the design includes the performance of engineering calculations to determine the adequacy of the connection to carry the loads for which it is designed.

Connections are basically of three kinds, simple, complex, and special. All connections are the responsibility of the structural engineer. Simple connections are those which have no unusual loads or forces. They may be designed by looking up the design in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Manual of Steel Construction and following directions found therein. This can be done by a steel fabricator utilizing non-engineering personnel. Complex connections are those where extreme or unusual loads are exerted upon the connection or where the loads are transferred to the connection from several directions. These connections cannot be designed from the AISC manual and require engineering expertise to design.

Special connections are a hybrid having characteristics of each of the other two. A simple connection becomes special where concentrated loads are placed thereon and the AISC manual no longer provides all the information necessary to properly design the connection. Such connections may also

Page 529

become special where the connections are "non-redundant." A "redundant" connection is one where failure of the connection will not cause failure of the entire system because the loads will be carried by other connections. A "non-redundant" connection which fails will cause collapse of the structure. The box beam-hanger rod connections were "non-redundant." The Commission found the box beam-hanger rod connections to be special connections.

The steel fabricator on the Hyatt project, Havens Steel Company, had engineers capable of designing simple, complex, or special connections. The structural engineer on a project may, as a matter of custom, elect to have connections designed by the fabricator. To do this, he communicates this information to the fabricator by the manner in which he portrays the connection on his structural drawings. The adequacy of the connection design remains the responsibility of the structural engineer. The Commission found that the structural drawings (S405.1 Secs. 10 and 11) did not communicate to the fabricator that it was to design the box beam-hanger rod connection, and did communicate to the fabricator that those connections had been designed by the engineer. Duncan testified that he intended for the fabricator to design the connections. Havens prepared its shop drawings on the basis that the connections shown on the design drawings had been designed by the structural engineer. Certain information concerning loads and other aspects of the box beam-hanger rod connections which appeared on Duncan's preliminary sketches was not included on the final structural drawings sent to the fabricator. The Commission also found that Duncan's structural drawings did not reflect the need for a special weld, did not reflect the need for stiffeners and bearing plates, and reflected that the hanger rods should be of regular strength steel rather than high strength. These factual findings are not contested....

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39 practice notes
  • Richardson v. Tennessee Bd. of Dentistry
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 28, 1995
    ...Key Haven v. Board of Trustees of Internal Improvm't Trust Fund, 427 So.2d 153, 157 (Fla.1982); Duncan v. Missouri Bd. for Architects, 744 S.W.2d 524 (Mo.App.1988); Johnson v. Elkin, 263 N.W.2d 123, 127 (N.D.1978); Mobil Oil Corp. v. City of Rocky River, 38 Ohio St.2d 23, 309 N.E.2d 900 (Oh......
  • Rosemann v. Sigillito, No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 9, 2013
    ...Trust Corp. v. Gershman, 829 F.Supp. 1095, 1101 (E.D.Mo.1993) (quoting Duncan v. Mo. Bd. for Architects, Prof'l Eng'rs & Land Surveyors, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo.Ct.App.1988)). “A legal duty owed by one to another may arise ... because a party has assumed a duty by contract or agreement.” Ha......
  • Resolution Trust Corp. v. Gibson, Civ. A. No. 92-0140-CV-W-8-6.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • August 30, 1993
    ...degrees of negligence and therefore do not distinguish between negligence and gross negligence." Duncan v. Missouri Bd. for Architects, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo.App. 1988). See also Fowler v. Park Corp., 673 S.W.2d 749, 755 (Mo. banc 1984) (stating that "it also remains the law of Missouri t......
  • Bennett v. St. Louis Cnty., No. ED 105470
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 19, 2017
    ...Yet, "[i]mpossible standards of specificity are not required." Duncan v. Mo. Bd. for Architects, Prof'l Eng'rs & Land Surveyors, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo. App. E.D. 1988) (citing Ferguson Police Officers Ass'n v. City of Ferguson, 670 S.W.2d 921, 927 (Mo. App. E.D. 1984) ). "Statutes are pre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
39 cases
  • Richardson v. Tennessee Bd. of Dentistry
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 28, 1995
    ...Key Haven v. Board of Trustees of Internal Improvm't Trust Fund, 427 So.2d 153, 157 (Fla.1982); Duncan v. Missouri Bd. for Architects, 744 S.W.2d 524 (Mo.App.1988); Johnson v. Elkin, 263 N.W.2d 123, 127 (N.D.1978); Mobil Oil Corp. v. City of Rocky River, 38 Ohio St.2d 23, 309 N.E.2d 900 (Oh......
  • Rosemann v. Sigillito, No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 9, 2013
    ...Trust Corp. v. Gershman, 829 F.Supp. 1095, 1101 (E.D.Mo.1993) (quoting Duncan v. Mo. Bd. for Architects, Prof'l Eng'rs & Land Surveyors, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo.Ct.App.1988)). “A legal duty owed by one to another may arise ... because a party has assumed a duty by contract or agreement.” Ha......
  • Resolution Trust Corp. v. Gibson, Civ. A. No. 92-0140-CV-W-8-6.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • August 30, 1993
    ...degrees of negligence and therefore do not distinguish between negligence and gross negligence." Duncan v. Missouri Bd. for Architects, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo.App. 1988). See also Fowler v. Park Corp., 673 S.W.2d 749, 755 (Mo. banc 1984) (stating that "it also remains the law of Missouri t......
  • Bennett v. St. Louis Cnty., No. ED 105470
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 19, 2017
    ...Yet, "[i]mpossible standards of specificity are not required." Duncan v. Mo. Bd. for Architects, Prof'l Eng'rs & Land Surveyors, 744 S.W.2d 524, 532 (Mo. App. E.D. 1988) (citing Ferguson Police Officers Ass'n v. City of Ferguson, 670 S.W.2d 921, 927 (Mo. App. E.D. 1984) ). "Statutes are pre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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