Engineering Inc. - July/August 2004 - (Page 4)

N E WS & N OT E S ACEC/MA Sues Mass. Turnpike Authority Colorado Over `Big Dig' Insurance Coverage Convention Rated Outstanding A CEC of Massachusetts has filed state lawsuits against A ttendees gave a resound- the Massachusetts Turn- ing thumbs up to the pike Authority, the Massachu- recently concluded ACEC setts Highway Department and 2004 Annual Convention in the Commonwealth, charging Colorado Springs, Colo. them with failure to fulfill their Eighty-five percent of those contractual responsibility to pro- surveyed rated the convention vide and maintain $50 million location as excellent. Another in professional liability insur- 85 percent rated the hotel facil- ance for engineering firms em- ities the Broadmoor also ployed on the Central Artery/ excellent. Tunnel Project the Big Dig . Results show that 46 percent The Big Dig is the largest, of attendees rated the conven- most complex and technologi- tion speakers and educational cally challenging urban trans- programs excellent, with portation project in American AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS another 46 percent rating the history. Big Dig engineering and speakers and programs good. design firms produced a number Location 75 percent and of design firsts, including the program 72 percent were most extensive highway tunnel judged the top two reasons ventilation system ever con- launched by the state. These help protect member firms influencing respondents' atten- structed and the widest cable- lawsuits are based on alleged threatened by Boston's Big dance at the ACEC convention. stayed bridge in the world. negligence as measured by small Dig cost-recovery efforts. ACEC/MA is seeking a court deviations from perfection an order directing the Turnpike unreasonable standard of care Major A/E Tax Cut Clears House Authority to obtain replacement that is in itself cause for deep And Senate Now In Conference layers of insurance to restore the concern . ACEC/MA contends level of coverage in the state's that Mass. Turnpike and its rep- L egislation that includes tax rate reductions for A/E firms that Owner Controlled Insurance resentatives have ignored pleas ACEC has been championing is now in conference after vic- Program OCIP to $50 mil- to enter non-binding mediation tories in both the House and Senate. The American Jobs Cre- lion. Nine years ago, Mass. for cost recovery and spare the ation Act of 2004 H.R. 4520 reduces the tax rate for A/E firms Highway created an insurance engineering firms and taxpayers by three percent for large corporations, with similar reductions for program to cover claims against the years of legal wrangling, small corporations. Companion legislation the Jumpstart Our design firms associated with the which could now result from the Business Strength S. 1637 also features ACEC-backed lan- Central Artery Project. Today, suits being filed by the state. guage to ensure that A/E firms qualify for new tax reductions. that coverage has been reduced The Turnpike Authority's The legislation repeals a current export-based tax benefit to $20 million because of the action threatens the financial the Extraterritorial Income Tax Exclusion ETI that was financial problems of two insur- viability of many local engineer- found to be in violation of international trade rules by the ance companies, said Abbie ing firms in our membership World Trade Organization WTO . Congress has been Goodman, executive director of that are the cornerstone of the focused on replacing ETI with a tax benefit for the manufac- ACEC/MA. When Massport engineering industry in Massa- turing sector and, because of ACEC's efforts, only recently faced a similar issue in 1999, it chusetts, Goodman continued. included A/E firms as beneficiaries. took steps to correct the situa- ACEC/MA has no choice but The Senate bill is applicable to all businesses, while the tion and replace the insurance. to have the court enforce our House bill applies to corporations only. ACEC now is focus- Without the OCIP's protec- members' legal rights. ing on convincing conferees to adopt the more wide-ranging tion, a number of design firms ACEC/ Massachusetts Senate approach to the legislation. could be driven out of business received assistance from the by cost-recovery lawsuits ACEC Minuteman Fund to 4 E N G I N E E R I N G INC. J u l y l August 2004

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2004

Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
ACEC's Newly Elected Leaders
Road Block Ahead
Building a Rainbow Coalition
2004 Convention Highlights
ACEC Fall Conference
Members in the News
One on One
Engineering Excellence Award
Institute for Business Management

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2004