HSSM Prevails in North Carolina Court of Appeals

In Southeast Caissons, LLC v. Choate Constr. Co., 2022-NCCOA-277, 871 S.E.2d 110 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpub.), the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of HSSM’s engineering firm client. The Court of Appeals agreed with the appellate team of Adrianne Chillemi, Kenny Dantinne, and Sarah Sawyer that the plaintiff subcontractor “failed to show” that the defendant engineering firm had “exercised enough control or authority over Plaintiff’s work as required to overcome the privity requirement.” The opinion clarifies earlier Court of Appeals decisions allowing liability in tort to be imposed on an architect or supervising engineer in the absence of privity, establishing that “the imposition of such negligence liability must still be limited to those cases where the architect or engineer exercised a significant degree of authority and control over the contractor and subcontractor.”