Skip to content
Engineers Liability

Defending the Right to Choose Concrete Pipe

Defending the Right to Choose Concrete Pipe: ADS vs. Portland

ACPA-Website-Thumbnail-Engineers-Liability-Defending-the-Right-to-Choose-Concrete-Pipe-1Every public works engineer knows the pressure vendors can exert on a city to approve its products for public works. For more than 15 years, Advanced Drainage Systems (“ADS”), a manufacturer of corrugated high density polyethylene pipe (“HDPE”), pressured the City of Portland, Oregon to approve its pipe for city projects. Throughout that time, the city repeatedly defended its choice of reinforced concrete pipe, citing concerns about the structural integrity and lifespan of HDPE as compared to concrete. In 2004, ADS took an unprecedented step, and sued the city in order to force the approval of HDPE. In 2005, ADS appealed and lost again. The city successfully defended its engineers’ right to choose—and it chose reinforced concrete pipe.