About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Vantage Point: Knowing When to Stop Print E-mail
Written by Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM   
Friday, 02 May 2014

A 71Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

There have been two big automobile recalls in the last several weeks, accompanied by fines in the billions, due not just to defective features but because of the manufacturers' failures to notify the public of them. For Toyota and Lexus, the problem (attributed to 12 deaths) has been in two parts: stock floor mats that get stuck under the accelerator and plastic material in the accelerator pedal that could cause it to stick in a partially depressed position. For GM the problem has been a little more complex: an ignition part that was re-engineered but not given a new part number so that it has been difficult to tell which cars had the faulty part. The result of ignitions slipping out of the "on" position and cutting power to vehicles has been 13 deaths.

For both manufacturers, the design glitches had been known for years. And they are not alone. My husband likes the small BMW wagon, big enough to carry a dog and groceries at the same time. About five years ago, his car began to suddenly die out, losing power in some very inopportune places like ramps onto highways. He took it in to the dealer multiple times; they charged him vast sums of money; the problem persisted. The last time he was told that the cause was the higher sulfur content in US gas compared to European gas, resulting in engine corrosion so that compression was lost. Oh, and the warranty against this problem had just expired. My husband sold his car for parts and I will never buy from BMW, now revealed as a writer of stealth warranties.

Why do companies do these kinds of things? It's all a ratings game. The fewer recall notices put out and the fewer vehicles publicly identified as defective, then the better the rating of manufacturer. But the outcry when such tactics and disregard of dangers become public is probably worse than when a firm takes responsibility for its errors.

Cars and surveying: do these two topics intersect? Are stealth warranties like stealth surveys, with corner markers mysteriously moved in the night? Is ignoring a problem until it becomes life threatening related to avoiding owning up to survey miscalculations or insufficient research? While the consequences are not always as devastating, certainly that's possible, depending upon who is relying on surveying work for bigger projects.

Two cases about surveyors admitting errors (or not) come to mind immediately, both widely cited. The first, La Bruno v. Lawrence (166 A.2d 822; 1960), has been discussed here before, but is a perfect example of how attitude and pride get in the way of doing the right thing. To recap for those who don't remember, Lawrence had surveyed two adjoining lots in the past, and Smith, one of the lot owners, now wished to erect a fence on the common line. Lawrence re-staked that common line for him, placing a marker in the front, one in the rear, and one in the middle of the flower bed owned by neighbor La Bruno, who had relied on the first survey to install his now encroaching garden, patio, and walkway. Even when La Bruno visited Lawrence in his office to say that either one survey or the other had to be wrong, Lawrence's classic response was (quoted directly), ""I'll cross that bridge when I come to it." His reward for bad attitude was punitive damages for trespass (a negligent tortious act), since "[h]e demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard of the property rights of the plaintiffs, that was reasonably calculated to aggravate his original mistaken trespass by the consequent trespasses of the Smiths and [Smith's fence contractor]."

The second case, Enright v. Lubow (493 A.2d 1288; 1985), involves a mistaken easement location on a survey. The Enrights hired Bailey to survey property that was to going to be sold to the Lubows, and the resulting plan located a gas and electric right-of-way 30 feet from the house. On notification by the electric company that it would be cutting down trees "near their home", the Enrights suspected a problem--but didn't tell the Lubows. Their title company ordered a second survey from Bailey, which now showed the easement within six feet of the house. A third survey, by another surveyor, confirmed the second location. Result: sale falls through, suit filed, damages assessed.

In 2013 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Chrysler to voluntarily recall certain Jeeps with an increased risk of fire if rear-ended. Chrysler's first response was to refuse, claiming the vehicles met or exceeded all safety requirements when built and were among the safest vehicles in their respective classes. But within weeks, a "voluntary campaign" (not a "recall") was underway, with a massive public relations component to it. How will you handle your mistakes?

Wendy Lathrop is licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in NJ, PA, DE, and MD, and has been involved since 1974 in surveying projects ranging from construction to boundary to environmental land use disputes. She is a Professional Planner in NJ, and a Certified Floodplain Manager through ASFPM.

A 71Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev   Next >

Marc Cheves, PS 
Editorial: A Great Year to be a Surveyor
Some magazines have what are called "theme" issues. That is, most of the content is focused on one particular subject. In my 22+ years of survey magazine publishing, my philosophy has always been to have a little bit of everything in each issue, thereby eliminating the possibility that ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Case Examinations: Halverson v. Deerwood Village
Whew! We really beat the snot out of Bryant v. Blevins and practical locations. Well this month we're back on new case that hit the Minnesota Supreme Court's docket in 1982. We've got the familiar gymnastics of jurisprudence featuring an extraordinary array of flying rope stretchers ...
Read the Article
Michel Philips 
Extreme Environment Surveying
A Franco-Chilean team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 rugged handheld for marine cave surveying, gathering data to classify the inaccessible northern half of Madre de Dios for UNESCO World Heritage. The team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 ....
Read the Article
Erik Dahlberg 
The Original Green Engineers
Sometimes, it's best just to leave things as you found them. That's the lesson shared by Dr. Richard Miksad and his students at the University of Virginia. As a result of studies covering nearly a decade, Miksad's teams have developed detailed ....
Read the Article
Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself 49: No Dimensions
In square A-C-D-B with side S, C-E is tangent to the semicircle Q1 with diameter B-D. Q2 is the inscribed circle of A-C-E. The tangent to Q1 and Q2 meets the sides of the square at F and H and intersects C-E at t G. Q3 is the inscribed circle of C-G-H. What is the ratio of the radii of circles ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
Discovery on Grizzly Peak
When First Lieutenant Montgomery M. Macomb arrived in Carson City, Nevada, from Washington D.C., on July 28, 1878, his assigned survey crew from the 4th Artillery was waiting and ready for the new field season. At age 25, Macomb was the leader ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Fighting City Hall Over Land
Once upon a time (1989 to be exact) in a place not so far away from where I live, a man (Francis Galdo) bought a home across the street from a vacant parcel owned by the City of Philadelphia. That parcel, along with others, had been acquired by condemnation back in 1974 subsequent to a 1956 ....
Read the Article
Patrick C. Garner, PS 
Book Review: Boundary Retracement: Processes and Procedures
When I was in my mid-twenties and learning the honorable profession of land surveying, I was lucky to be guided by a mentor who would grab a book off his office shelf and say, "Every surveyor should have a copy of this!" The first example he waved at me was Davis, Foote and Kelly's Surveying ....
Read the Article

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

Trimble Intros
TSC7 Controller

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
7820B Wormans Mill Road, #236
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax