Accepted Work Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Accepted work doctrine is a principle of Construction law. According to this doctrine a contractor who builds according to an owner's plans and specifications will not be liable to third parties for injuries sustained by reason of a dangerous condition of their work unless the injury results from a hidden, imminently dangerous defect that the contractor knows about and the owner does not know about.

In Boswell v. Laird, 8 Cal. 469 (Cal. 1857), the California Supreme Court held that once an owner accepts work done, the owner, and not the contractor, becomes liable to third parties for their injuries. Boswell established a policy that an owner takes over from their contractors the responsibility of dangerous conditions they have designed.