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Relating to civil liability and responsibility for the consequences of defects in the plans, specifications, or related documents for the construction or repair of an improvement to real property.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1418 would prohibit a contractor from being held liable for defects in the accuracy, adequacy, sufficiency, or suitability of real property construction plans given to them by the person they contracted with or another person on behalf of the person they contracted with. A contractor would be required to disclose in writing to the person they are contracting with any defects they discover in the construction plans before or during construction. If they fail to disclose such defects, they would be able to be held liable for them. HB 1418 would prohibit any contract from waiving these provisions.
HB 1418 would also create a standard of care for engineers and architects, requiring contracts to provide that their services be performed with the professional care ordinarily provided by licensed engineers and architects. If enacted, engineers and architects could not be held liable for fulfilling their duties under this standard of care.
Texas Action supports HB 1418 because it would prevent unjust civil liability against contractors who are not responsible for defects in construction plans. Contractors should only be held liable by courts for errors committed during construction, not errors in construction plans that they did not create. HB 1418 would maintain a responsible balance by requiring contractors to notify the person they contract with about defects in the plans.