Limiting liability is a legitimate concern for surveyors and for professionals across the spectrum. However, the privilege of professional recognition brings with it a heightened level of responsibility that cannot be avoided by quick disclaimers or clever denials. Thorough research, careful analysis, and professional results are mandatory rather than optional.
A mere disclaimer on the map is not sufficient justification to ignore legitimate requirements put in the place by a Board of Examiners. Where state standards clearly require specific information on all survey maps, a disclaimer does not excuse the intentional neglect of that data on the survey map.
In the recent Tennessee decision Whitelaw v. Brooks: 138 S.W.3d 890 (2003), a surveyor was found guilty of negligence for failure to conform to existing standards of practice. The surveyor: “…in derogation of the rules promulgated by the Tennessee State Board of Examiners for Land Surveyors, failed to create his survey using the latest recorded deed to the property and instead utilized a tax map provided by the Tax Assessor’s office. Hall’s survey resulted in an encroachment on Whitelaw’s remaining parcel of land.”
This case is a valuable lesson to licensees who prefer quick and easy solutions to professional-level performance.