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Not in the Plans: Architects, Risk, and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Sponsored by Pro-Demnity Insurance Company

Location: Laurentian Main campus, room C-114

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This presentation considers the relationship between Designing for Dignity and the risk architects face of being sued by personal injury litigants. It will explore relevant legal concepts pertaining to the personal injury suits architects can face, as well as design considerations that can assist to mitigate these risks. Pro-Demnity’s experienced Risk Services team will be sharing cautionary tales from their many years of assisting architects.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the reasons why architects need to be concerned about personal injury lawsuits.
2. Describe the logistics of how a personal injury lawsuit typically will unfold.
3. Name circumstances and design features that are often the subject of personal injury lawsuits.
4. Avoid some common design issues that can lead to personal injuries lawsuits, and implement risk management strategies to help protect against future personal injury lawsuits.

Salvador Knafo, OAA, MRAIC, is the lead in-house architect for Pro-Demnity Insurance Company, and is involved in many facets of the company, working with leadership, stakeholders, claims, and legal counsel, in and outside the organization. Salvador’s breadth of experience includes having worked on professional liability claims with architects, construction disputes, as well as interacting with insurance underwriters in product development and other initiatives within the Company providing an architect’s perspective. Most importantly, Salvador passionately serves the profession of architecture by providing consultation to its stakeholders on avoiding liability and minimizing risk. During his 30 years at Pro-Demnity, he has defended architects on claims and providing advice on how to avoid getting caught up in one. He passionately advocates for architects and the profession so those “out in the trenches” can strive for excellence while exercising their skills and creativity to the fullest with peace of mind.

Philip Ghosh, BA, JD, is an experienced litigator with a practice dedicated to defending architects against professional liability lawsuits as in-house legal counsel at Pro-Demnity, which he joined in 2020. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of Court in Ontario, as well as at mediations, arbitrations, administrative tribunals and professional colleges.
Philip was called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from Queen’s University Law School in 2011. Further, he completed an internship at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. He is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association and Canadian Defence Lawyers.

Leslie Parker, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC, is an experienced architect with extensive knowledge in contract administration and project management of large teams, as well as deep expertise of built environments for healthcare, long-term care homes, and design for seniors. As architectural risk advisor at Pro-Demnity, she monitors new developments in the profession and leverages this knowledge to contribute to the research and development of Pro-Demnity’s risk education material, initiatives and programs, while offering relevant and timely one-on-one risk guidance to architects. She is a licensed Ontario architect, with a BA from St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, as well as a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies and Master of Architecture from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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