How can we apply the Citicorp Case to the Texas Engineering Practices Act Chapter 137?
Chapter 137 of the Texas Engineering Practicing Act states that engineers are “entrusted to protect the health, safety, property, and welfare of the public in the practice of their profession.” It is safe to say that engineers have a lot of responsibility on them through their work and enacting this clause is crucial to ensure the safety of the public. Engineers need to consciously practice and abide by this clause in order to properly do their job. An example of consciously enacting this clause is seen in the Citicorp Case we discussed earlier in the semester. Going back to the Citicorp Case, how did William LeMessurier follow the TEPA code 137.55 and 137.57? In what ways did he comply with the code and in other ways how did he not comply with the code? How could he have changed his actions to completely follow code 137.57?
Custom Expert Answer
The Citicorp Case partially followed the Texas Engineering Practices Act Chapter 137.
The Citicorp building designed by William LeMussurier was later revealed to contain faults within the column layout and weak bolted connections. This could have resulted in thousands of casualties and losses in the billions. Instead of notifying the public about the ongoing issues in the building, LeMussurier persuaded Citicorp to fix the problem, without public notice. Even with a close call from Hurricane Ella, the crews managed to work at night to weld 2″ steel plates over each of the skyscraper’s 200 bolted joints. The problem did not come to light until almost 20 years later in an article published in The New Yorker, 1995.
That being said, LeMessurier did comply with the TEPA code 137.55 that “Engineers Shall Protect the Public” by solving the issue, however, to an extent. He only complied to an extent because he purposely convinced Citicorp to not notify the public about the situation. This goes against code 137.57 of “Engineers Shall be Objective and Truthful” since LeMessurier was truthful to the parties about engineering decisions, but not the employees who walked into the building on a daily basis. Code 137.57 clearly states ” (b) The issuance of oral or written assertions in the practice of engineering shall not be: (3) misleading or shall not in any manner whatsoever tend to create a misleading impression.” While LeMussurier could have chosen not to inform the public to avoid panic and maintain the solution under control, his decision not to was still misleading.
William LeMessurier did prioritize concern for the public and notified all parties in the authority of engineering decisions, but if he had chosen to also notify the public about the concern, then it would have completely followed TEPA code 137.57.
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