Legal Problems Arising out of Highway Programs. Topic 22-02. Liability of State Departments of Transportation for Design Errors

How can a State Department of Transportation (DOT) protect itself from liability arising from infrastructure design and product errors and omissions? State DOTs provide specifications and review, accept and/or approve designs and products. How has litigation defined the DOTs’ liability for errors in such infrastructure and product or materials designs? The research should include public and general construction law, professional liability law, and professional liability and comprehensive general liability insurance coverage issues. The research should also include the impact of product warranties. It should also explore any legal distinction between the DOT’s liability for accepting or approving a product or design and/or placing a product on an approved products list. The research should define and explore the scope of a DOT’s right to ban a product or design which it has previously approved. What is the effect of false representations/lack of disclosure for design defects? STATUS: Completed. Published as NCHRP Legal Research Digest 74, Issue 74.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $50000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-06, Topic 22-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Performing Organizations:

    Thomas Law Firm

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Start Date: 20150804
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160904
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39190

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01556447
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-06, Topic 22-02
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2015 1:00AM