Senate Committee Hears Certificate of Merit Bill

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the AIA/WA-backed bill, SB 5833, to require a “certificate of merit” be filed prior to a lawsuit proceeding against a licensed design professional (architect, engineer, landscape architect or land surveyor). Last year the legislature passed a similar requirement for medical professionals as part of a larger package on medical liability reform. Several states currently have this requirement for design professionals as well. AIA/WA is pushing the bill as part of the Architects & Engineers Legislative Council (AELC). The only testimony against the bill was from the Washington State Trial Lawyers Assn. Even though WSTLA agreed to similar language for medical professionals, they continue to oppose our bill.

Now that the bill has had a hearing, it is eligible to be considered in “executive session” and passed out of the committee. The next step is to schedule a committee vote on the bill.