Compliance to Draft Standards

iecAn article in a professional organization magazine caught my attention. It was about a law suit regarding an incident which according to current standard during the conception of the design, the design was compliant. The designers, however, were aware of the existence of a draft standard which covers the particular part of the the design involved in the incident.

The designers lost in the case and the decision was for them to pay multi-million damages. The court have ruled that despite the knowledge of the existence of a draft standard which cover the design, the designers failed to comply with it.

This is a scenario of chicken and the egg. Draft standars are still subject to alteration and on its front cover - it is specifically stated that "Liable to alteration - Do not use as a Standard". Draft standards are for review by professionals and depending on the comments, revision on the clauses is a possibility.

What if a draft standard has been used in a design, and the particular clause used in the design was deleted when the final standard is issued, however the design was already completed, will the design be subject to modification?

The answer to this question is not truly simple but the court ruling against the designer is an antecendent to any possible court decesions in the future.

Taking the oppsoite of the incident, what if the designer had complied with the draft standard and an incident happened? Will the designer be liable to using a draft standard which is liable to alteration?