How to prevent claims and disputes – EPIC webinar

I’ve mentioned before that there are civil litigation and insurance claims waiting to happen in the built environment. We engineers see the potential often enough. (Ref. 1) Others do as well as evident by EPIC planning a webinar that will identify the signs and symptoms. Many of these occur during the project management stage. (Ref. 2)

EPIC (Educational Program Innovation Centre) is a company in Mississauga, Ontario that provides training and courses for engineers and technical professionals.

Many of their courses are well suited and easily understood by non-technical folk. For example, this one coming up on the warning signs of potential claims and disputes. It will be presented as a seminar on the web July 19 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Atlantic.

I was quite enthused when I saw the content as described by EPIC. It recognizes the value to those who cause the problems and those who are hurt by them. EPIC describe the course this way:

After attending this webinar, you will:

  • Learn about a large number of early warning signs of claims and disputes.
  • Learn what types of claims and disputes can arise from each warning sign.
  • Understand what must be done to prevent such follow on claims and avoid disputes.

Webinar description:

It is axiomatic that claims and disputes on a project do not simply appear out of nowhere. Experience indicates that when a dispute occurs, there is normally a back story or history of events, decisions, lack of decisions, etc. that can be traced back from a few weeks to several years that gave rise to the dispute. It is typically these past events or decisions that are identified as the “early warning signs” of claims and disputes.

Typically, it is only when claims are filed at the end of a project that attorneys and claims consultants review project documentation and interview the project team that these early warning signs are identified. And, in retrospect, many project team members comment “If only I had recognized that then!”

Research reveals there is little literature setting forth a detailed list of early warning signs of pending construction claims and disputes. Based on the collective observations of numerous construction claims consultants the Ankura Construction Forum collated these early warning signs into the typical phases of a project including:

  • Bid or Proposal Phase
  • Initial Contract Phase
  • Construction Phase

This webinar also identifies which party should watch for which early warning sign and what sort of claim or dispute may arise. 

This is a comprehensive seminar and worth attending. If there’s a hiccup in what EPIC is planning, it may be the omission of the design phase in project management, as in:

  • Design Phase
  • Bid or Proposal Phase
  • Initial Contract Phase
  • Construction Phase

Based on what I’ve seen over the years in my forensic engineering practice there’s no question that claims and disputes can arise out of the design phase in project management. Possibly witness the bridge failure in Saskatchewan hours after it was opened to the public. (Ref. 3) Fingers are pointing at the design engineer but, rightly so, the jury is still out.

It does seem as though the engineer was involved in all phases of the project – Design, Bid, Contract and Construction. I’m certain that EPIC’s webinar will throw light on what happened in Saskatchewan, as well as the signs and symptoms of claims and disputes on all projects.


  1. A reminder that failure and accidents are predictable even if the culprit is climate change. Posted May 11, 2022
  2. How is a forensic investigation different from a project? Posted April 30, 2022
  3. Did vested interests lead to bridge failure and trouble for the design engineer? Posted May 25, 2022

(Posted by Eric E. Jorden, M.Sc., P.Eng. Consulting Professional Engineer, Forensic Engineer, Geotechnology Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 23, 2022.

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