HILL INTERNATIONAL, INC. VS. ATLANTIC CITY BOARD
COBRA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. VS. ATLANTIC CITY
BOARD OF EDUCATION
When a professional in one of the categories listed in N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-26 has been sued for malpractice or negligence, a supporting affidavit of merit ("AOM") is required from a "like-licensed" professional. This "like-licensed" requirement applies even where the functions of one profession may overlap with those of another profession. However, such an AOM is not required for claims (1) solely involving matters of common knowledge; (2) based on a defendant's conduct outside the scope of his or her professional duties; (3) of intentional wrongdoing; or (4) based exclusively on theories of vicarious liability or agency.
Applying these principles here, we reverse the trial court's interlocutory order permitting a licensed engineer to issue an AOM against defendant architects regarding alleged negligence in design and construction contract administration. Even though there is some overlap between these two professions, the statute requires an AOM from a like-licensed architect. We remand to allow plaintiff to obtain such an affidavit.