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Volunteers put under contract


VOLUNTEER CONTRACTORS and consultants helping at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center are to be paid retrospectively.

New York City's department of design and construction (DDC) is drawing up a contract that will backdate payment to the day after the devastation.

The contract will include British firms Ove Arup and Buro Happold and contractors Amec and Bovis Lend Lease.

President of the Structural Engineering Association of New York (SEAoNY) Ed De Paulo told NCE he had seen a document proposing that Bovis Lend Lease be designated as a general contract manager on site.

Thornton Thomasetti will be retained as a main subcontractor as will the individual consultants working for it, he said.

Putting the relief effort on a contractual footing will ease concerns of engineers on site. New York does not have laws protecting firms that volunteer for emergency work from being sued if something goes wrong.

The immunity known as a 'Good Samaritan Clause' exists in California where it is used in earthquake situations.

The contract will also include a 'wrap around' insurance policy paid for by the City of New York to cover all the structural engineering firms on the site.

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