Licensee was charged with violating Section 471.033(1)(g), Florida Statutes; negligence in the practice of engineering. Licensee signed, dated, and sealed Foundation Stabilization Reports for various residences in 2013 and 2014. The reports contained information within them that were virtually verbatim copies of data and conclusions found in signed and sealed engineering documents that had been prepared by other engineering firms and were also materially deficient. Additionally, Licensee signed, dated, and sealed engineering certifications for these residences. The deficiencies include, but are not limited to: a) the structure will be stabilized by underpinning (However, this remediation ignores the effect of the underpinning upon an interior load-bearing structural wall.); b) the underpinning is materially inadequate in that it fails to acknowledge that the continuous strip foundation that was identified as supporting the original structure is a flexible foundation intended to be continuously earth supports; and c) does not possess sufficient section properties or reinforcement to function as a “pile cap” or “grade beam.” The deficiencies above are from one project — the complaint contained four projects all with material deficiencies within the reports which are similar.
The certifications also contained material deficiencies and do not comply with accepted standards of engineering practice applicable to sinkhole subsidence remediation. The deficiencies include, but are not limited to the fact that: a) contrary to Respondent’s explicit statement in the Foundation Stabilization Reports, the projects do not comply with accepted standards of engineering practice applicable to sinkhole subsidence remediation; and b) the statement “the foundation repairs are sufficient to prevent settlement of the structure” is materially inaccurate. The repairs as completed will only minimize settlement under some conditions, but will not prevent settlement as certified, etc.
Ruling: The case was presented to the full Board based upon a Settlement Stipulation. The Board imposed an Administrative Fine of $1,000, costs of $14,603.25, Appearance before the Board, a Reprimand, and two years’ Probation with terms. Terms include, a Board-approved course in Basic Engineering Professionalism and Ethics, the Board’s Study Guide, and project review at six and 18 months. Final Order was issued on June 28, 2018.
Violation: Section 471.033(1)(g), Florida Statutes