Silver Spring, Md. — CLAIMS 101: The Fundamentals of Claims Detection and Response is the title of a new, 18-page guide published by the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). Prepared by GBA’s Legal Affairs Committee, the new guide provides an overview of the claim-resolution process, from initial filing to the final resolution and beyond.

Chapter titles are:

  • Do Not Admit Fault,
  • Claim Precursors and Responding to Them,
  • Unconventional Initial Notices,
  • Pre-Litigation Claim Notices,
  • First Things First,
  • Pre-Litigation Claims Resolution,
  • Litigation, and
  • It’s Over: Put the Case behind You.

According to Michael J. “Mike” Yost, Esq., vice president and general counsel of GBA-member firm Terracon and chair of GBA’s Legal Affairs Committee, “We wanted to produce a guide that would be particularly instructive for younger geoprofessionals and a solid refresher for some of the ‘old hands.’ We don’t go into any significant detail about any one issue. If we started doing that, the guide would have been 500 pages long. We wanted it to be an easy read, without legalese or Latin, that would take only about 15 minutes to read, and people would come away with an understanding of the process.”

Yost noted that the Committee focused on claim precursors and a few key dos and don’ts. “Being aware of claim precursors is particularly important,” Yost said. “Being aware of the precursors allows geoprofessionals to intervene early, and defuse a claim before the formal elements of the process are initiated.”

Among some of the key dos and don’ts are “never admit fault,” which gets its own chapter, and the maintenance of files once a firm becomes aware that a claim is likely to be filed.

“Unfortunately, claims and litigation have become almost routine elements of geoprofessional practice,” Yost said. “Geoprofessionals need to know how to prevent them from happening and how to deal with them effectively once they do occur. Without that knowledge, developments can go downhill far faster than they otherwise would, and gain a mass they otherwise would not.”

CLAIMS 101: The Fundamentals of Claims Detection and Response is available at the GBA website at Nonmembers may purchase the guide for $150.