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Professional vs. Ordinary Negligence Claims Against Contractors and Engineers

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently addressed the distinction between professional negligence vis‑à‑vis simple negligence.  This distinction was particularly important in Hamilton-King v. HNTB Georgia, Inc., 2011 WL 2716073 (2011) because the trial court previously excluded Plaintiffs’ expert testimony, an essential part of its professional negligence claim.  Without the expert testimony, Plaintiffs’ professional negligence claim was doomed.  The only remaining question was whether Plaintiffs also asserted claims of simple negligence.  Finding that the claims were based solely on professional negligence, the case was properly dismissed.

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