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Professional practices/ethics: The case of the three engineers vs. BART: The outcome of a suit brought by three Bay Area Rapid Transit exemployees may set a historic precedent in the public interest

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An $885 000 lawsuit was recently filed, and leveled at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system management, by three of its former engineer-employees. (The trial in Superior Court, Alameda County, Calif., is scheduled to begin on October 25.) This latest in a series of technological and financial troubles ¿ cost overruns caused by inflation, labor stoppages, illegal change orders, erratic appropriations, quality-control deficiencies, etc. (many of which were discussed in the writer's articles in the September, October, and November 1972 issues, and in the March and April 1973 issues of Spectrum) ¿ presents potentially the most serious implications to the engineering profession of any of BART's past woes. Although the continued operation and future development of the BART system will remain relatively unaffected by the outcome of this litigation, the dispute that triggered the engineers' suit warrants the attention of every professional engineer because of its grave technical and ethical underpinnings.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 10 )