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Accident Investigation & Reconstruction Expert Witnesses

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Dr. Stephen C. Wexler, PE, CPE CCS CPE CPMP CVS CBO CMC CSP
Chairman
4132 Del Rey Ave.
Marina Del Rey CA, TX 90292
USA
phone: 310-306-3877
fax: 310-306-7480
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Stephen Wexler Construction Management ExpertExperience: 40 years experience in construction, construction management, safety and related. Unusual combination of safety engineering and construction and civil engineering permits separate areas within construction, safety, and premises liability. 6 years Instructor at UCLA Evening Extension in Engineering & Construction Management, and 4 years US Navy Seabees Instructor for Construction Management - Port Hueneme, CA and Gulfport, Mississippi.

Licenses: Dr. Stephen C. Wexler, PE holds Licenses in Civil Engineering, Safety Engineering and is a "B" License General Contractor.

Services: 50% of business in Construction Management in working with Owners, Contractors & Subcontractors in their Building Programs and 50% of business activity in Forensic Engineering in working with Attorneys in a variety of case types.

Qualified Expert Witness: Testimony over 16 years in + / - 200 trials and + / - 500 expert depositions. Backed by a research staff of engineers. Both plaintiff & defense. High integrity & solid record - No skeletons or conflicting testimony. Litigation savvy with attractive record of Jury appeal.

Other Expertise: Members of Wexco International have additional expertise in: Quality Control; Building and Design Codes; Earthquake / Fire / Flood Damage; Roofing; Waterproofing; Paints; Plaster; Flooring; Critical Path Method Scheduling; Delay Impact Analysis; Accidents relating to Scaffolds, Ladders, Forklifts, Guardrails, Cranes, Manlifts, Use of Tools, Electrocutions, Bulldozers, Stacking; Parking Lots, ADA Regulations; Electric Gates; Construction Area Traffic Control; Roadway Maintenance; Visibility; Lighting.
The subject Case involved the Defendant traveling Southbound on a Freeway in Southern California, when the California Highway Patrol (CHP) performed a traffic stop. The CHP Officer indicated (at the time of the stop, as well as in the official Report) that the cause of the stop was excessive speed (speeding). During the traffic stop, the driver was cited for driving without a valid Driver License.

7/24/2014 · Construction
An employee of a Metal Framing / Drywall Subcontractor fell off a scaffold that allegedly was improperly situated for the work. Additionally, Plaintiff contended that the scaffold had no guardrail (at the time of the incident). The incident occurred during construction of a large mixed use building in Northern California. The result of the fall was a catastrophic injury to the Plaintiff.

6/17/2014 · Construction
The subject property is located in the City of Los Angeles, and is considered to be a landmark property. The improvements on the property were originally constructed in early 1910's. The property consists of: a Main House with a gross living area of 9,400 square feet; a Garage with a 900 square foot Guest House above; and, a 740 square foot Pool House. The three (3) buildings, swimming pool, reflection pond, fountain and gardens are situated on a 36,000 square foot lot.

According to data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which utilized the 2007 Hospital EMS/Trauma Registry Data, Falls and Auto Accidents were the top 2 leading causes of injury within the State of Texas. Of the 91,703 injuries reported in 2007, the combination of Falls and Auto Accidents accounted for an amazing 64% (58,833 injuries). Individually, Falls made up 38% (34,418) of all statewide injuries reported.

According to data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which utilized the 2007 Hospital EMS/Trauma Registry Data, Falls and Auto Accidents were the top 2 leading causes of injury within the State of Texas. Of the 91,703 injuries reported in 2007, the combination of Falls and Auto Accidents accounted for an amazing 64% (58,833 injuries). Individually, Auto Accidents accounted for 27% (27,415) of all statewide injuries reported. Additionally, motor vehicle accidents in Texas is the leading cause of death for residents under the age of 45, and 3rd leading cause of death to all residents.

3/7/2014 · Construction
Plaintiff was an Apprentice Plumber working at the Construction Renovation of a Coffee House.

2/4/2014 · Construction
The subject of this Case involves two (2) adjoining hillside properties in Pacific Palisades, California. One property (owned by Defendant) is at a higher elevation than the other (owned by Plaintiff). Both properties were developed and graded at the same time (in the 1960's). A sloped hillside is situated between each of the respective property building pads and yardscapes.

1/3/2014 · Construction
Plaintiff was a 5 year old child that fell through a gap between the horizontal railings of at a guardrail at an outdoor observation platform located on a small hill overlooking a lake.

11/27/2013 · Construction
The Project was a remodel of an existing multi-story residence located on a hillside in Beverly Hills, California. The Plaintiffs are the owners of the residence, the Defendant are the Design-Build General Contractors engaged by Plaintiffs to perform various design and remodelling to the hillside property. The Home Improvement Agreement and its amendments (i.e. 2 change orders) were drafted by Defendants.

10/24/2013 · Construction
The Project was a retrofit of a historic theatre that was converted to a Restaurant / Bar / Lounge. The Plaintiffs are the managers and operators of a nightclub in Hollywood, the Defendant are the General Contractors engaged by Plaintiffs to perform renovations. The contract and its attachments were created by Defendants.

10/3/2013 · Construction
The Plaintiff, an Insurance Adjuster, was performing an inspection of the roof of an automobile dealership that had reported damage as a result of wind and rain from a recent Hurricane. The subject roof consisted of corrugated metal panels, and translucent fiberglass panels with a matching corrugated pattern. Additionally, the subject roof had been covered with a white polymer "paint" coating for purposes of energy reduction.

The Plaintiff (Decedent) was using a home , propane powered barbecue grill, when the attached propane tank allegedly suffered a catastrophic material failure, resulting in an explosion, which then caused a fire of the residence. Plaintiff obtained the subject propane tank from the Defendant Retailer, who had provided the tank as an exchange of the Plaintiff's empty tank. Defendant Retailer was not authorized by the Defendant Propane Supplier.

Plaintiff was traveling Northbound in the #1 lane of Frank Sinatra Drive in the Plaintiff's 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. At the time of the incident, the Plaintiff was attempting to execute a right hand turn into the main entry at The Bellagio, with the intention of traveling to the employee pick up area, to pick up a co-worker.

7/26/2013 · Expert Witnessing
The Plaintiff, a tenant of the subject apartment building, was on the roof of the building, when the Plaintiff fell through a rooftop skylight located above the apartment building hallway. The Plaintiff had been on the roof with a friend, but was alone at the time of the incident.

At the time of the fall, the Plaintiff was apparently beginning to descend from the top (3rd) level of the scaffold. While transitioning from the top platform onto the ladder that was built into the scaffold frame, the Plaintiff attempted to utilize the midrail as a hand hold, when the midraild gave way. Plaintiff lost his balance and fell to the ground level below.

Plaintiff was the front passenger in a vehicle traveling Northbound on a 2-lane roadway. While traveling through an "S" turn, the vehicle lost control and entered into a critical speed skid.

5/29/2013 · Construction
Plaintiff was a Laborer/Grade Checker who was working at a project involving grading and applying a new asphalt surface to a parking lot. The Defendant was a Contractor that was grading the parking lot utilizing a skip loader.

4/23/2013 · Construction
Plaintiff was an HVAC Technician, who was performing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work at commercial shopping plaza. The shopping plaza buildings were single-story in height, and had exterior fixed ladders for access to the roof.

3/20/2013 · Expert Witnessing
Experts are a very important, and often critical, component of a lawsuit. Aside from all of the traditional elements and facets (Forensic Analysis & Testimony), is the litany of activities that the Expert may play in the initial role of Consultant to the Attorney.

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V. Paul Herbert, CPSA
Director
954 Butterfly Valley Road
Quincy CA 95971-9613
USA
phone: 800-875-7389
fax: 530-281-6566
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V. Paul Herbert Motor Carrier Safety Expert PhotoV. Paul Herbert, CPSA, is a Motor Carrier Safety Expert with over 33 years of experience in trucking, commercial vehicle safety, and law enforcement.

Litigation Support - Mr. Herbert is routinely called upon to testify in litigated Truck, Bus, Forklift, and other Commercial Vehicle Cases. He works for both plaintiffs and defendants and has testified in approximately 75 trials. Mr. Herbert provides expert witness testimony concerning custom, practice, and standard of care in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Areas of Specialization:
  • Commercial Vehicle (Truck & Bus) Accident Analysis
  • Commercial Vehicle Driver Training & Evaluation Standards
  • Air Brake Systems Operation & Maintenance Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Coupling Device (Fifth Wheel & Pintle Hitch) Standards
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Regulations & Standards
  • Loading & Load Securement Requirements & Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Driver Selection, Orientation & Training Standards
  • State & Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR & 13 CCR)
  • Commercial Vehicle Driver Hours of Service Restrictions & Driver Fatigue
  • Tachograph Chart and On-Board Computer Report Analysis
  • Commercial Vehicle Equipment & Maintenance Standards
  • Forklift Operator Training, Evaluation & Certification Standards
  • Truck Terminal & Loading Dock Safety Procedures and Design Standards
  • Heavy Equipment Loading, Hauling & Unloading Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Conspicuity & Visibility Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Inspection & Operation Standards
Background Experience - Mr. Herbert began his career driving dump trucks, water trucks, and logging trucks. Throughout the following years he continued to haul logs during logging season and the remainder of the year he would haul finished lumber, wood chips, heavy equipment and machinery, sheet and structural steel, fuels and lubricating oils, pipe, etc.

In 1981 he became a State Trooper for the Nevada Highway Patrol and was stationed in Reno, Nevada. While employed by the NHP, because of his background as a truck driver, he was given specialized training and assignments pertaining to commercial vehicle safety, compliance, and accident investigation.

In 1990 Mr. Herbert created the Western Motor Carrier Safety Institute to provide commercial vehicle safety and compliance consulting services to several small trucking companies.

View V. Paul Herbert's Consulting Profile.
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Office of Design & Construction
2115 Third Street, Suite 208
Santa Monica CA 90405
USA
phone: 805-798-0010
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Jeffrey Phillip Weinstein, AIA, a California licensed Architect since 1982, with Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from USC, has been involved in the development, design and construction of office buildings, high-rise condominiums, multi-family residential podium-type projects, retail, neighborhood shopping centers and regional malls, hotels and resorts, hospitals, and schools (K-12 and University).

Expert in real estate development, government approvals, entitlements & permits, architect's standard of care, construction management, claims & defects, A/E/C agreements. Expertise includes building envelope & water intrusion, zoning & building codes, errors/omissions, destructive testing & repair, schools (DSA), hospitals (OSHPD), condominiums, commercial/retail/mixed-use projects, high-rise structures, hotels & resorts. Previous employers include Nadel and Callison Architects, Tishman Construction, Trammel Crow Company, Kaiser Permanente, and California State University.

Professional Licenses / Certifications / Affiliations:
  • California Registered Architect, License #12822
  • Member, American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, Construction Specification Institute, and Society for Marketing Professional Services
  • Member, North Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review
Litigation Support: Jeffrey Weinstein has been retained as an expert witness as Owner's Representative, Construction Manager, Contract Administrator, Project Manager and Architect by Developers, Builders, Institutional Owners (Hospitals & Schools), Municipalities, and Corporate Clients. Mr. Weinstein provides professional Architectural and Construction Expert Witness opinion, testimony and services on matters, such as:
  • Architectural
  • Forensic Architectural
  • Construction Management
  • Building Code Requirements
  • Construction Industry Standards
  • Professional Standard of Care
  • Design Defects, Errors & Omissions
  • Construction Defects & Failures
  • Architectural Practice & Peer Review
  • Construction Claim Evaluation
  • Change Order Analysis & Cost Overruns
  • Zoning Entitlements, Land-Use, and Permitting
  • Project Delivery - Fast-Track, Design-Build, GMP
  • Design & Construction Accident Claims
  • View Jeffrey P. Weinstein's Consulting Profile.
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    4015 Watters Lane
    Gibsonia PA 15044
    USA
    phone: 724-255-7176
    fax: 484-991-1952
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    Al Vangura, Jr., MS, CPS, holds an MS in Bioengineering, a BS in Exercise and Sports Science - Biomechanics, and an AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Mr. Vangura has over 30 years of product development experience of class I, II, and III medical devices, sports equipment, playgrounds, motor vehicles, appliances, etc. He holds multiple patents and has worked as a machinist for over 10 years.

    Mr. Vangura is a seasoned, hands-on executive engineer with an extensive background and experience in the product development cycle in a variety of settings. He has led cross-functional teams developing Medical Devices for Respironics, Hill-Rom, Alung and CardiacAssist, athletic products for Reebok, Adidas, and the U.S. Olympic Biathlon team. He has also developed Military Aircraft for Sikorsky Aircraft, Boeing Defense and Space and the International Space Station for NASA.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Vangura has participated in forensic engineering evaluations for over 11 years with extensive courtroom experience. He provides forensic evaluations during legal proceedings involving product-related injuries, motor vehicle crashes, and other incidents requiring independent injury evaluation and review. Mr. Vangura has been involved in over 400 biomechanics cases.

    Areas of Specialization:
    • Occupant Biomechanics
    • Walking / Running Biomechanics
    • Trip / Fall Biomechanics
    • Playground Accidents and Safety
    • Sports Equipment Design / Safety
  • Machine Accidents
  • Child Abuse
  • Altercations
  • Medical Devices
  • OSHA, MSHA, FDA, and ADA
  • View Al Vangura's Consulting Profile.
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    Ronald Tyson
    President
    565 N. Ortonville Road
    Ortonville MI 48462
    USA
    phone: (248) 230–9561
    fax: (248) 230–8476
    BUILDING & PREMISES EXPERT, Review and research to render opinions on correct building codes and life-safety standards concerning construction, ADA & OSHA issues. Opinions on causation & foreseeability, licensed builder with many years of subcontracting & general contracting [hands-on] experience. Plaintiff and Defense attorney clients. Continuing education studies. Never disqualified in over 200 times in court. Addressing allegations of Building Mold, Faulty Construction, Failure to disclose, Personal Injury, Manufactured Housing & other construction issues and Condominium claims. Addressing breach of contract issues. Ronald Tyson 248.230.9561 fax 248.230.8476 ronaldtyson@mac.com.
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    Mike Napier
    CEO/President
    530 Forest Hill Road,Suite D
    Macon GA 31210
    USA
    phone: 478-750-7279
    fax: 478-745-3040
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    Mike Napier is a Trucking Expert with more than 40 years experience in the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry. He has worked in the real world of trucking and CMV operations, holding positions from Chief Executive Officer to Truck Driver and virtually every position in between. If you are looking for a Trucking Expert who not only knows the written text of the regulations, as is required of any competent Safety Director, but also has hands-on trucking experience of a truck driver and can speak to the issues of how the trucking industry operates from the top down, you have found him!

    Mr. Napier will equip an attorney with the knowledge that opposing counsel may not have. Mr. Napier’s unique experience differs dramatically from nearly all other commercial or trucking industry experts; in that he has first-hand knowledge and understands a trucking company’s organizational & operational structure and has a firm command of the regulations and the nexus of the industry standards of care.

    Mr. Napier’s diverse experience includes, but is not limited to, the following issues:
  • Regulatory and Industry Standards Of Care
  • Hours of Service and Symptoms of Fatigue
  • Safety & Health Standards
  • Preservation of Records
  • Corporate Financial Statements
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Accident Investigation
  • Brokers of Property
  • Levels of Financial Responsibility
  • Out of Service Violations
  • Registration and Insurance
  • Process Agent Designation
  • Operating Authority
  • Trucking Company Research Data
  • Common, Contract, Private or Exempt Motor Carriers
  • Hazardous Material Regulations
  • Lease and Interchange Agreements for CMV Tractor or Trailers
  • Truck Driver Duties on the Road
  • Motor Carrier Compliance Duties
  • Various Motor Carrier Related Contracts
  • and Much More. ..
  • Driver Qualifications
  • Driver Medical Qualifications
  • Commercial Driver Licenses
  • Hiring, Retention and Supervision
  • Employer-Employee Relationships
  • Accident Contributing Factors
  • Driver Skills Testing
  • Loading/Unloading
  • Cargo Securement
  • Electronic Control Modules (i.e. Black-box)
  • Satellite Tracking Systems/GPS (i.e. Qualcomm)
  • Tractor/ Trailer Inspections/Maintenance
  • DOT Compliance Reviews
  • Interstate or Intrastate Rules
  • Cargo Claims or Losses
  • Third Partly Logistics Agents (3PL)
  • Agents
  • Motor Carrier Liabilities
  • Fuel Tax Reporting
  • DOT Safety Fitness and Ratings
  • Human Resource Issues
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    Russell E. Carlson
    RCA, BCMA
    114 Grand Canyon Court
    Bear DE 19701
    USA
    phone: 302-832-1911
    Russell E. Carlson, DBA Tree Tech Consulting, is a Registered Consulting Arborist, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and Forensic Arborist.

    Qualifications:
  • Member, American Society of Consulting Arborists
  • Registered Consulting Arborist #354, 1994
  • Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, 2002-2010
  • Member: International Society of Arboriculture
  • ISA Board Certified Master Arborist #PD-0008B, 1983
  • ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor
  • Court-approved witness in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey

    Services: With more than 36 years of experience in Arboriculture, Tree Tech Consulting offers services in the following area:
  • Diagnosis of Tree and Landscape Problems
  • Risk Assessment and Hazardous Tree Inspections
  • Forensic Investigations
  • Litigation and Insurance Support
  • Tree and Landscape Appraisal and Valuation
  • Arboricultural Practices
  • Insect and Disease Identification
  • Tree Protection and Management for Construction
  • Preparation of Contract Specifications
  • Tree Care and Management Programs
  • Tree and Landscape Inventories
  • 11/6/2012 · Plants & Trees
    To preserve certain mature trees within a construction site some precautions must be taken to assure that neither the trunk, limbs nor root system of the tree are excessively damaged.

    2/25/2011 · Expert Witnessing
    Remember when you were a kid? Remember when Mom or Dad told you to eat the asparagus?

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    Ned Einstein
    President
    15-17 S. William Street,Suite 3A
    New York NY 10004
    USA
    phone: 212-766-1121 (NY) or 818-988-4586 (LA)
    fax: 212-766-1122
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    Areas of Expertise: Accident analysis, testimony and mediation in vehicle and pedestrian accidents involving transit, paratransit, schoolbus, motorcoach, special education, non-emergency medical transportation, taxi, shuttle, child transport systems and services; slips and falls; crossing, boarding and alighting; wheelchairs; seatbelts; ADA and accessibility; passenger safety, security and sexual abuse; vehicle design, specification, crashworthiness, quality assurance and product liability; industry standards and practices; driver training and vehicle operation; management, monitoring, supervision and enforcement; maintenance; NHTSA, FTA, FMCSA and USDOT regulations; vehicle testing and certification; contract negotiation and compliance; risk management; planning and system design.

    The Firm: Transportation Alternatives is a passenger transportation and automotive consortium engaged in consulting and forensic accident investigation and analysis (more than 350 cases). Specializes in elderly, disabled, schoolchildren.

    Education: MURP (Urban and Regional Planning): George Washington University, 1975 BA, English Literature: Rutgers University, 1969

    Professional Experience:
  • President, Transportation Alternatives (1980 to present). Consulted to USDOT, transit agencies, private contractors, social service agencies, municipalities and school districts. Designed several major transportation systems
  • Chairman/General Manager, PTS Transportation (1982-1992). Directed operations of a 70-vehicle paratransit system for physically and developmentally disabled individuals and a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service
  • President, TAM-USA (1989-1995). Formed and directed a U.S.-Slovene joint venture company which coordinated the design, testing, certification and marketing of a European-manufactured school bus and motorcoach.

    Appointments and Memberships:
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • National Association of Pupil Transportation
  • United Motorcoach Association
  • American Bus Association
  • Community Transportation Association of America
  • Association Internationale pour la Sécurité du Transport des Jeunes
  • National School Transportation Conference (1995, 2000, 2005)
  • Committee on School Transportation Safety, National Academy of Sciences
  • Bus Industry Safety Committee (ABA)
  • Access Committee (APTA)
  • 3/28/2017 · Transportation
    In a monthly magazine, it is almost impossible to keep up changes that are racing along This past September, 2015, small fleets of Volvos and Ford Fusions were released into the general traffic stream in Pittsburgh, and driverless Anheuser-Busch trucks began delivering Budweiser and Bud Light. The Netherlands and Finland have been deploying driverless motorcoaches for months now. And we already have a few similar services operating in the U.S.

    2/13/2017 · Transportation
    In Part 1 of this series, I identified the enormous range of benefits that would likely accompany even the first wave of autonomous buses, coaches, trucks and delivery vehicles. And I identified a handful of dysfunctional consequences, the most serious of which is a Tsunami of driver unemployment. Lest anyone doubt these inevitabilities, he or she might consider consulting the seven-installment series in National Bus Trader titled "Bad Regulations and Worse Responses" (June 2014 through January 2015).

    12/28/2016 · Transportation
    National Bus Trader has always been a leader in its selection and treatment of topics related to technology and innovation. So the decision to craft a lengthy article about NBT Editor Larry Plachno's experiences "behind-the-wheel" of a motorcoach-of-the-future at a "ZF Ride & Drive" event in Aachen, Germany (NBT, September, 2016) should not have been a surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that safety, liability and other issues related to this technology will be explored as well.

    8/19/2016 · Transportation
    The notion of "screening" driver-candidates for Sleep Apnea screening is not merely unsupportable, it is a delusion. In 2011, 517 truck drivers in Australia were tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnea ("Assessing Sleepiness and Sleep Disorder in Truck Drivers" in SLEEP, 2011). According to an anonymous self-evaluation questionnaire (a "multivariable apnea prediction index, based on self-report measures"), only 12% felt they had it, while roughly 4.4% had tested positive for it. Yet when all of them were tested, 41% more of them had this condition. The testing also found that a full 50% of the study participants were obese, and 49% of them smoked cigarettes. Neither of these parameters are included among the handful of criteria currently employed by either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's or Federal Railway Administration's "recommended" screening exercise -- although, In fairness, the size-17 male neck (or size 16 female neck) serves as a proxy for obesity. At the same time, as noted below, it also captures plenty of "false positives."

    6/29/2016 · Transportation
    Like most fields, public transportation is swollen with studies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Yet some of the most fascinating things seem to be never studied, or rarely studied.

    5/23/2016 · Transportation
    This final installment of this series provides the rewards for reading the first six: Starting-point ideas about things the motorcoach industry can do defend its density against intrusion from Transportation Network Companies (like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar), which have already begun plunging into the charter and tour sectors, mostly with medium-sized, body-on-chassis vehicles. It also includes things that would help increase profits and create new service opportunities - and compete with new, legitimate players penetrating the market.

    4/13/2016 · Transportation
    As NATIONAL BUS TRADER readers following this series have noted, our judicial system seems to be "running the table" with TNC-related issues. The $220,000,000 settlement of a case against FEDEX effectively eliminated the notion of an "independent contractor" in its six states. And the California courts are soon likely to boot out Uber. The FEDEX case in the U.S. Court's 10th Circuit effectively rippled a TNC's ability to deprive its drivers of a regular employee's costly array of fringe benefits. This settlement is likely to soon play out in the other nine "Circuit" encompassing the other 44 states. And if Uber is booted out of California altogether, on top of the FEDEX settlement, the TNC threat will be diminished significantly.

    3/11/2016 · Transportation
    Practically beginning my public transportation career as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Transportation, I learned to hate "Wash-Speak." Government agencies do not compound things; they exacerbate them. They use nothing, but utilize everything. They never start anything, yet implement everything. And much-ado-about nothing is usually referred to as a paradigm shift.

    2/25/2016 · Transportation
    Well, by now, the "Cat's Out of the Bag" about transportation network companies (TNCs). For this, we owe our thanks to National Bus Trader, Limo, Charter and Tours Magazine (especially) and the United Motorcoach Association. The August 15, 2015 issue of the UMA-sponsored Bus & Motorcoach News contained two articles about these previously-unfettered, robot-controlled beasts.

    2/3/2016 · Transportation
    These past five years, practically unnoticed until this last one, have witnessed the most radical change in public transportation since the introduction of scheduling software in the Early 90s: The invasion of traditional, analog services wallowing in their nostalgia by hyper- [or uber]-digital counterparts big on access, low on some concerns, and flying beneath virtually every City's and State's regulatory radar.

    1/6/2016 · Transportation
    Mitchell Rouse! In the 1980s, a strapping, 6'4"-inch-tall visionary who had inherited a 50-vehicle taxicab company and, within a few years, expanded it into a 350-vehicle leviathan, along with eight small paratransit operations. With a heavily-computerized operation a decade before Windows took over the World, his dispatch office still answered every call with a live Earthling. Wilmington/Checker Cab was all about decency, respect and efficiency. And at a time when most of Los Angeles County was beginning to deteriorate rapidly into lines, menus, incompetence and traffic. Yet, as a brilliant manager with an expanding corporate mentality, Rouse was also a rabid supporter of Unionism, and embraced his Teamster's affiliation with pride.

    12/15/2015 · Transportation
    Like every mode of public transportation, and for almost every aspect of our society, the motorcoach industry has, over the decades, been affected significantly by regulations. Some of these experiences were challenging yet produced dramatic results that, among other benefits, have saved us money. One terrific example is that modern motorcoaches dump perhaps one percent of the particulates into our environment than they did a mere two decades ago. Here, the regulations, though challenging, were at least realistic. But our industries' (and other bus modes') responses to it - effectively our engine manufacturers - were far more important than the regulations: Their responses were magnificent.

    11/18/2015 · Transportation
    The explosion of digital technology has triggered increases in vehicle costs, purged small and medium-sized companies from the transportation landscape, and contributed to a nationwide shortage of qualified drivers. But it has taken its greatest toll on management, where supervisors with a genuine understanding of transportation are gradually being replaced by armies of "templeteers."

    11/2/2015 · Transportation
    In the last installment of National Bus Trader, "Fatigue Monitoring Technology" presented an overview of the approaches and devices in development, and available, to prevent and detect driver fatigue. But unlike prevention technologies, fatigue detection devices raise a unique question: What happens when they work?!

    9/30/2015 · Transportation
    Little in public transportation is as challenging as driving load upon load of wheelchair occupants, with unique needs (and often unique chairs), in all directions, with last-minute one-of-a-kind trips dispatched into tight schedules created days, or even weeks, in advance. Yet this is precisely what paratransit drivers do - hour after hour, day after day.

    8/14/2015 · Transportation
    With panoramic/wraparound windshields lying against the front plane, sun visors, tinted windshields, crossover and parabolic mirror systems, ergonomic driver compartments with tilting/telescopic steering columns and pneumatically-adjustable seats, video surveillance cameras and motion detection sensors - much less corrective lenses, sunglasses, annual vision examinations, and continual improvements in headlamps - one would think that bus drivers could see and react to large objects appearing directly in front of their vehicles. But, as many jurors learn, one would be wrong.

    7/8/2015 · Transportation
    Comparing their relative safety to that of other vehicles, a number of motorcoach features come immediately to mind: Mass, monocoque construction pneumatic suspension, and fully-padded, forward-facing seats. Yet incidents like these still occur:

    6/12/2015 · Transportation
    No, this is not the name of a case. It refers to a dangerous conflict coursing through the bus and motorcoach industries - a conflict that we cannot afford to let exist.

    5/13/2015 · Transportation
    The previous article in this series emphasized the importance of transportation professionals selecting bus stops instead of students or their parents doing so. Regardless, while plenty of tools are available to help, the critical tool for evaluating and approving safe bus stops is a live Earthling.

    In the last installment (STN, Jun, 2007), I stressed the importance of distinguishing between an actual bus stop and the waiting area across the street from it in terms of safety. But the selection of the stop and waiting area also involves concerns for student security. Sometimes, there are trade-offs that must be made. These trade-off are often complex and subtle. But they must be made correctly.

    3/6/2015 · Transportation
    Except in rural areas with vast distances between intersections, a bus stop can reasonably be placed in one of three positions:

    1/26/2015 · Transportation
    In those rare instances where the safety of transportation modes can be compared statistically, bus riders fare several decimal points better than bicycle riders. The risks associated with motorcycles are "off the charts." The Figure below illustrates these comparisons for "home-to-school" trips - trips that comprise 15 percent of all transit trips and 96 percent of all schoolbus trips.

    12/17/2014 · Transportation
    Every responsible society has mechanisms to hold its citizens, and their organizations, accountable for their actions. With respect to safety, our society effects this goal through the enactment and enforcement of statutes and regulations, and through the process of civil litigation. As with most rules and most societies, many of our transportation organizations have discovered loopholes. Employing these loopholes, they have effectively reduced their liability exposure at the cost of compromising safety.

    11/11/2014 · Transportation
    Unlike those of many transit systems, schoolbus stops are not always identified with signage - at either the precise position of the stop or signage indicating that a schoolbus stop is approaching (the black glyph on yellow background). Rarely is the stop zone itself marked (for example, by red-lining the curb). In particular, the failure to mark the stop's precise positioning can be problematic - and occasionally dangerous.

    10/2/2014 · Transportation
    As pressure from the unknowing continues to mount, rumors have it that the U.S. motorcoach industry is slowly inching toward the installation of seatbelts. That we are doing so by skipping the decades of seat compartmentalization that has helped fend off most seatbelt advocates in the schoolbus industry is only more unfortunate since existing motorcoach seats lend themselves to a far more evolved form of compartmentalization than the "incomplete compartmentalization" (in NHTSA's own words) of their yellow body-on-chassis cousins.

    8/27/2014 · Transportation
    Question: What is the difference between a poorly-selected and -designed bus stop and a land mine? Answer: Very little. When you step on either of them, your ankles, knees and hips are likely to explode. The genuine difference is that the carnage from land mines is intentional, whereas that of poorly-selected and -designed bus stops usually reflects incompetence and, often, indifference.

    7/23/2014 · Transportation
    As it affects liability, an operating agency's status as a "common carrier" has an enormous impact not only on determining liability itself, but depending on legal constructs in various states, can also affect considerations like immunity and/or the assessment of punitive damages - often barriers to the assessment of damages afforded to public agencies. So except for motorcoaches deployed in commuter/express service under contract to public transit agencies, these latter considerations rarely affect motorcoach operations in the courtroom.

    6/13/2014 · Transportation
    In rural areas, children spaced far apart were once transported to school by horse and wagon. After the first day of school, the horses learned the routes and simply repeated them day after day, eliminating the need for drivers. The vehicles were cheap, and the engines ran effectively on oats. As our nation changed, pupil transportation's development reflected our increasing urbanization and, later, suburbanization. These developments included a new phenomenon known as traffic. As a safety matter, the need for pupil transportation grew to reflect a child's inability to cross streets or negotiate intersections, as verified by studies like the 1968 Swedish study "Children in Traffic." In simple terms, children below age 13, and particularly below age 10, do not possess the physical, mental and emotional skills necessary to cross streets and intersections.

    At the rudimentary level at which most crossing procedures are executed, schoolbus drivers are supposed to "direct" the students across the roadway when they are certain that either the traffic has been stopped in both directions or it is so distant (if even visible) that the students could easily complete their crossing before any oncoming vehicles reach the bus. The bus would obviously have its red flashers and stop arm engaged as a "fail safe."

    Drummed into my head as a schoolchild was the mantra, "Cross at the Green, Not In Between." This slogan still provides the basis for Today's thinking about following the pedestrian path to and from school or a student's bus stop. When last year, a study of 7,000 pedestrian accidents in New York City over a four-year period was released, its findings turned this century-old cliché on its head. The implications for the pupil transportation industry are dramatic, and should awaken all of us to a new reality that may save hundreds if not thousands of lives a year, since most vehicle-pedestrian accidents happen to students walking or cycling to school, as well most of those traveling by schoolbus who are struck when crossing by third-party vehicles.

    For those readers who remember Jayne Mansfield, or even know who she was, this is not a story about her Hollywood exploits or bedroom acrobatics. It is a story about a common type of accident - a rear-ender involving an automobile striking a truck or bus - often referred to, in accident reconstruction circles, as "the Jayne Mansfield syndrome."

    1/31/2014 · Transportation
    I have often written about the impacts of overly-tight schedules as the primary causative factor in incidents - in fact, the underlying cause of perhaps half of them. Because speeding is one of the "cures" to this problem, one of its characteristics is the failure to slow down when the roadway surface is not, as jazz musicians say, "melody." One of the most common scenarios is to cruise over speed bumps and speed humps. Another is to fail to slow over rugged terrain, particularly potholes and the often dysfunctional patches that sloppy road crews create to "repair" them.

    12/30/2013 · Transportation
    For decades, multiple sources cited the commonly-accepted statistic that only an estimated four percent of all individuals possessed a medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is largely the result of certain physical characteristics and lifestyle habits that reduce the flow of oxygen into one's lungs while asleep. These characteristics result in lowered blood oxygen levels throughout one's normal night's sleep, and lower the quality of that sleep such that the individual is fatigued through much of the day.

    11/7/2013 · Transportation
    Supply and Demand: When it comes down to it, the ultimate dynamics of survival in life on Earth. More poetically, 70's pop artist icon James Taylor crooned, "You provide the satisfy, and I'll provide the need." So here we go on another jaunt to expand the scenarios for motorcoach usage. However, along the road, we are actually inventing a brand new mode - not that no one has necessarily tried this particular one before.

    10/11/2013 · Transportation
    As with every installment in this series of articles, this particular model or vision is highly unusual, has only limited application, and requires considerable creativity and effort to bring to life, and still contains some constraints even if and when one can develop it beyond the womb of an idea.

    9/24/2013 · Transportation
    There are plenty of things obvious to almost any adult, motorist or pedestrian about large vehicles. The most obvious is their size and mass. But at the other end of the spectrum lie nuances rarely understood by anyone who has not driven a vehicle with a long wheelbase: The way such a vehicle turns, and the way its tires "track" compared to those of a typical automobile, van or pickup truck.

    8/21/2013 · Transportation
    As NBT readers of my past columns well know, my perspective on accidents and their causation is pretty skewed because I spend most of my professional time examining their details.

    8/6/2013 · Transportation
    One of the most fundamental concepts of liability is that the defendant "takes the victim as he finds him." Apart from hospitals and nursing homes, few areas of modern life confront, litigate and test this principle as often as public transportation.

    7/18/2013 · Transportation
    As we all know, public transportation is a fiercely competitive business, even in operating environments which are subsidized. But the failure to make tiny investments in safety can be costly in the courtroom.

    2/26/2013 · Transportation
    Alcohol and bus ridership present a curious enigma. As a matter of public policy, we allow intoxication. As a matter of free market dynamics, we encourage it. And rightfully so, we want to protect those intoxicated from hurting themselves and others.

    12/20/2012 · Transportation
    This title makes me think immediately of funerals. This is not what this installment is about, although problems in the office and on the road often translate into funerals for operating companies, not just their accident victims.

    10/24/2012 · Transportation
    As most motorcoach community members know, contracting plays a major role in much of our operations - including the 30% of motorcoach service provided to schoolchildren on field trips, as well as the commuter-express service provided under contract to transit agencies.

    8/22/2012 · Transportation
    One would think in the Age of Irreversible and Growing Unemployment, employers could phase out their "dead wood" and find some personnel capable of performing their functions competently. Regrettably, bus agencies and companies are generally not among those which do.

    One of the unfortunate problems with non-news-oriented magazines is the juxtaposition of their readers' limited long-term memories coupled with the publishers' reluctance to repeat themes (much less whole articles) that are not linked to stories that reflect continuing news or problems.

    Recently, I conducted a workshop on safety and liability for transportation directors. I asked innocently, "What do you do after training?" Several attendees shouted out, "More training!"

    Many of our fundamental and commonly-held beliefs are invalid because they were derived, often haphazardly, from a blur of intuition, superstition, history, tradition and circumstance rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Before the inventions of artificial light and mechanical clocks, being awake during daylight and asleep during darkness were survival necessities - lest one be devoured by predators or stumble into a pit.

    In my review of more than 80 public transportation-related accidents and law suits, one almost universal theme has been the absence of any log review. This failure has generally combined with another common theme: A vehicle running behind schedule. The relationship between these two themes is easy to both understand and demonstrate - as is the acknowledgement that they constitute a genuine safety problem. But in a courtroom, the fact that system management failed to notice the vehicle running late - and worse, failed to even look for it - translates into a liability problem as well.

    Since driving a 20- or 25-ton motorcoach is touted as so being difficult, it is only fair to ask why so much carnage, and so many law suits, occur apart from collisions. In particular, the number of incidents occurring at or near stops seems largely disproportionate to the perceived simplicity of handling things when the bus or coach is stationary

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    Brent A. Johnson
    Chief Auditor
    PO Box 92462
    Southlake TX 76092
    USA
    phone: 817-230-4004
    Traction-Auditing-Experts-logo.jpg
    Brent Johnson Slip and Fall Expert PhotoBrent A. Johnson is nationally recognized in the Walkway Traction Testing Industry and the author of many articles on the application of national standards for Slip and Fall Prevention.

    Background Experience - Mr. Johnson served as a facilities manager in the healthcare industry for 12 years before moving to the Floor Safety Industry. In his experience, he has recognized the need for extensive research in the reduction of the risks contributing to slip and fall incidents. He has witnessed, first hand, the physical, mental, and financial devastation that can result from unsafe walkways, thus resulting in his proactive, rather than reactive management philosophy.

    During his tenure in the healthcare industry, Mr. Johnson has served on Environment of Care, Safety, and Emergency Management committees for a major suburban hospital network focusing on the prevention of injuries and identification of potential hazards. As a Facility Safety Officer, he has proposed and implemented solutions to minimize risks and enhance the safety for all users of a healthcare facility.

    Mr. Johnson’s experience also includes a background in education and the physical sciences which enables him to apply and articulate the physics and properties of the coefficient of friction and it’s implications with walkway surfaces and safety. His ability to apply the scientific standards for measurement of floor safety established by the National Floor Safety Institute and ANSI as part of a comprehensive walkway management program can help reduce the exposure of a facility to litigation as well as create a safer environment for employees and patrons.

    Mr. Johnson is a member of ASTM, ASSE, the ANSI B101 main committee and the chairman of the ANSI B101.0 Walkway Auditing Procedure subcommittee. He was the first Certified Walkway Auditing Safety Specialist and is now an instructor for the NFSI’s Walkway Auditor Certification Class as well as a Certified XL Tribometrist.

    Litigation Support - Brent A. Johnson specializes is Forensic Walkway Testing in slip and fall cases for both defense and plaintiff attorneys. He offers unbiased, objective walkway test data for slip and fall litigation based on the ANSI/NFSI B101 national consensus walkway testing standards. His services include the coefficient of friction (COF) measurements under both dry and wet conditions.

    View Brent Johnson's Consulting Profile.
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    Professor Alphonses J. Heraghty
    45 Ashley Circle
    Commack NY 11725
    USA
    phone: 631-241-3058
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    Professor Alphonses J. Heraghty is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) by the National Recreation and Park Association and a Certified Supervisor for Outdoor Environments by the National Program for Playground Safety. He specializes in Sports Injury Prevention and Risk Management.

    Also a Certified Interscholastic Coach by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), Prof. Heraghty currently serves on the Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces, and Facilities committee with American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM). He currently serves as Professor and Academic Chair of the Health & Physical Education Department at SUNY Suffolk in Brentwood, New York. Prior to this role, he was the Fitness & Aquatics Director and Head Lacrosse Coach at SUNY Suffolk.

    Litigation Support - Prof. Heraghty specializes in Risk Management Programs for various types of sports, recreation and fitness activities as well as the preparation of expert opinions for both plaintiff and defendants, in conjunction with Recreation and Sport Personal Injury cases.

    Areas of Expertise
    • Playground Equipment Accidents
    • Playground Supervision
    • Recreation Accidents
    • Physical Education Accidents
    • Trampoline Parks
    • Athletic Accidents
    • Health Club Accidents
    • Fitness Equipment Accidents
  • Weight Room Accidents
  • Athletic / Sport Facility Accidents
  • Lacrosse Accidents
  • Swimming Pool Accidents
  • Coaching Safety
  • camp Accidents
  • Improper Supervision
  • Non-Adherence to Standards
  • View Alphonses Heraghty's Consulting Profile.
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    Thomas Lepper
    810 Rose Drive
    Benicia CA 94510
    USA
    phone: 408-691-2779
    fax: 707-751-3833
    Thomas J. Lepper has over sixteen years of experience as a consultant, inspector and tester within the automotive industry. He has more than ten years of experience as a forensic automotive consultant for nationally known insurance companies and law firms. Mr. Lepper is qualified to testify as an Expert Witness in the Superior Court for the State of California.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Tire and Brake Separations and Failures
    • Theft and Forced Entry Issues
    • Fire Cause and origin
    • Transmissions
    • SDM Interrogation with CDR Tool
    • Steering and Suspension Systems
    • Seat Belt and Airbag Issues
    • Mechanical Defects
    • Throttle / Unwanted Acceleration Issues
    • Wiring and Electrical Issues
    • Racetrack / Racecar Incidents
    Mr. Lepper's forensic, automotive fire, brake and tire expertise has been performed for major nationwide insurance companies, nationally known rental car companies and law firms. Please contact for fee schedules.
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    Thomas R. Ward
    PO Box 291836
    Phelan CA 92329
    USA
    phone: 760-912-6116
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    Thomas R. Ward has been in the Trucking Repair Industry for almost 30 years. He is a highly trained heavy duty truck and trailer mechanic who can troubleshoot, inspect and repair all aspects of truck and trailer operating systems.

    Mr. Ward has more than 18 years of experience as a Mechanic and Shop Foreman for leading trucking companies in the Western United States. An expert welder on cryogenic trailers, he has managed yard operations, trained mechanics, and has written ISO 9000 work instructions. Mr. Ward is also well adept at Cryogenic, CO2, and L.N.G. pump and plumbing repairs, as well as DOT and BIT inspections. He has over 20 certificates of training in the repair and maintenance of commercial trucks and trailers.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Ward's services are available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. He provides litigation support services in cases involving:
    • Heavy Truck Mechanics
    • Cryogenic Equipment Maintenance and Repair
  • Heavy Truck Safety
  • Heavy Truck Operation Maintenance
  • Specific Areas of Expertise:
    • Truck Drive Train
    • Engine Management
    • Transmission and Clutch
    • Steering Systems
    • Suspensions, Air and Leaf
    • Braking Systems, ABS
    • Power Take Off (pto) Systems
    • Trailer Maintenance
    • High Pressure Hose Maintenance and Repair
  • Suspension
  • Coupling Devices
  • Unloading Systems, Auxiliary Motor
  • High Speed Pump High Pressure, Gravity
  • Tank Trailer Maintenance
  • Cryogenic, High Pressure Tube Trailer, Federal Insp.
  • High Pressure Valve, Fire / Air Operated
  • Cryogenic and High Pressure Piping Systems
  • Chemical System Handling
  • View Thomas Ward's Consulting Profile.
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    Emanuel Kapelsohn, JD
    President
    1771 Creekview Dr.
    Fogelsville PA 18051
    USA
    phone: 484-504-1345 or (c) 610-360-7053
    emanuel-kapelsohn-firearms-expert-photo.jpg
    Emanuel Kapelsohn is an internationally recognized Firearms Training and Use of Force consultant who has instructed thousands of police and security officers, federal agents and others throughout the U.S. and abroad since 1980.

    A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, he is a practicing attorney in addition to his consulting work. A vice president of the Internat’l Assoc. of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, he is a certified in force science and shooting scene reconstruction, and as an instructor in numerous law enforcement disciplines. He is a featured presenter at national and international instructor conferences.

    Mr. Kapelsohn has authored over 130 published articles, is Associate Editor of "Standards & Practices Guide for Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors," and principal author of "Firearms Training Standards for Law Enforcement Personnel," and "Guidelines for Simulation Training Safety."

    He testifies as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts nationwide, and has testified by invitation before both houses of Congress.

    Testimony on the Following Subjects:
    • Gun Accidents
    • Firearms Safety
    • Gun Handling Procedures
    • Gun Storage
    • Firearms Design
    • Operability
    • Trajectories
    • Velocities
    • Ballistics
    • Ejection Patterns - Ricochets
    • Proximity Testing
    • Gunshot Evidence
  • Bullet Wounds
  • Reconstruction of Shooting Scenes
  • Bullet Penetration
  • Shooting Range Safety
  • Hunting Accidents
  • Holsters and other Shooting Products
  • Self Defense
  • Knives and other Weapons
  • Involuntary Muscular Contraction and Accidental Discharge
  • Police and Security Firearms Training
  • Tactics and Procedures
  • Use of Force
  • View Emanuel Kapelsohn's Consulting Profile.
    Emanuel Kapelsohn (Principal Author)
    This manual is designed to address and hopefully reduce, the tragic incidents of officer deaths in recent years which have occurred in role-playing and force-on-force training exercises. These are the most authoritative source of guidance available on simulation training safety.
    Emanuel Kapelsohn
    A guide to help every Police Agency set up and maintain a firearms program with suggestions on training and standards officers should be able to obtain.
    Emanuel Kapelsohn (Assoc. Ed.)
    This book is a must for any firearms program. As an outline of relevant knowledge for law enforcement firearms instructors, this Reference Guide is more than just a glossary of terms; besides a guide to nomenclature, it is an index to professional standards and practices, whose dissemination is at the heart of IALEFI's mission. It has three complementary functions, combining features of a glossary or dictionary, an encyclopedia, and a handbook.
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    Ted S. Merrill
    General Construction Consultant
    7777 Alvarado Road
    Suite 408A
    La Mesa CA 91942
    USA
    phone: 619-464-3997
    fax: 619-464-8581
    Ted Merrill has 60 years of experience that includes all phases of Construction and Damage Repair. Mr. Merrill has 42 years of experience in Estimating and Reconstruction of buildings damaged by Fire, Wind, Water, Motor Vehicles, Earth Movement and Construction Defects. He has testified as an expert in Municipal, Superior and Federal courts.

    Construction Areas of Expertise: Damage Repair
  • Building / House Repairs
  • Floors & Flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Foundation Movement
  • Construction Contracting
  • Foundation Repair
  • Construction Defects
  • Framing
  • Stair and Stairways
  • Construction Disputes
  • Installation
  • Construction Estimates
  • Molding/Paneling
  • Decks
  • Residential
  • Finish Carpentry
  • Decay and Defects
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    Dr. Irving Ojalvo
    Managing Partner
    137 E. 36th Street, Suite 7K
    New York NY 10016
    USA
    phone: 800-358-9909
    fax: 888-358-9901
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    Additional Locations
    New England Offices:
    1011 High Ridge Road
    Stamford, CT 06905
    Southeast Offices:
    22808 Marbella Circle
    Boca Raton, FL 33433


    Forensic Engineering: We have a highly qualified team of Mechanical, Biomechanical, Electrical and Civil engineers, most of whom hold doctorates or other advanced engineering degrees from top universities. Our engineers have hundreds of publications, and are active in safety and accident research. Over the past decades, our engineers have helped thousands of attorneys and others pursue their cases.

    Selected Areas of Expertise:Degrees/Licenses: BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD, PE
    Airbags are credited with reducing numerous injuries and saving many lives during vehicle accidents. However, there have been incidents where they do not function as intended, and have even caused injuries such as explosive powder burns, detached eye retinas, child suffocation and impact deaths.

    Animations are useful visual tools that can help jurors understand how an incident could, or could not, have occurred. Simply describing an event in court, or showing still pictures, may be insufficient to explain a complex sequence of events.

    Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to the interaction of biological systems with their external environment. When investigating an accident, biomechanical analysis can be used to reconstruct a victim’s motion and relate it to his injuries.

    When an understanding of complex motions associated with various accidents is required, computer simulation is an invaluable tool, which allows the modeling and visualization of rollovers and collisions. In addition to vehicle accidents, computer simulation can also be used to create many other systems of masses and contacting surfaces, such as a toppling light pole after it has been struck.

    Construction sites and equipment present many hazards if proper care is not taken. The space in and around a construction site is often filled with potentially dangerous, high-powered equipment capable of delivering high forces.

    Doors and gates, whether automated or manual, can pose a serious hazard to users if not designed, manufactured, installed and maintained properly. The different types include automatic doors, overhead garage doors, elevator doors, sliding doors, swinging doors, and automatic gates.

    Electric fires are becoming more common as appliances and electric feeds are used more and more in our daily lives. Like other fires, the root cause of an electric fire is the introduction of heat, oxygen, and fuel.

    Electric power and electronic appliances are so integrated with modern life that there is a high degree of likelihood that everyone will receive one or more electric shocks in a lifetime. In many cases, only trivial power levels are involved.

    Second only to automobile accidents, falls are the leading cause of injury and deaths. Of these, accidents due to slipping or tripping form a large proportion. Slips and trips occur on floors, streets, walkways, stairs, etc.

    Forklifts, industrial trucks, skid steer loaders, bobcats and other similar material-handling machines are often difficult to maneuver and susceptible to a wide range of accidents. Their nature exposes operators and nearby co-workers to falling loads, crushing hazards and lading dock falls.

    There are roughly 9,000 golf cart related accidents requiring emergency room treatment in the United States each year. The majority of these accidents are related to either braking, cart rollover or passenger ejection. These problems are common to golf carts due to their open design, lack of seatbelts, poor braking capabilities and the uneven terrains they are driven on.

    The primary function of all guarding is to prevent an operator or bystander from being injured by a potentially dangerous portion of a machine. Often the hazard involves moving parts with the potential to cut, crush or draw-in body parts, although barrier guards may also be necessary when electrical, thermal or chemical dangers are present.

    Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) is a branch of science, which is concerned with man’s interaction with his universe. Thus, it is not simply the study of pure science (e.g. sound or light), but rather man’s understanding and reactions (e.g. to hear and see).

    There are over 100,000 ladder accidents annually in the U.S. requiring hospital emergency room treatment. Although many of these result from user misuse, such as an improper extension ladder lean angle against a wall causing it to slip outward, use of a damaged ladder, or failing to lock a step ladder’s spreaders, many ladders fail due to design or manufacturing defects.

    Motorcycles, like passenger cars, are capable of high speeds and must share the road with other vehicles. However, unlike passenger cars, motorcycles are capable of rapid accelerations, offer little protection to the operator during a collision and require special skills to maneuver effectively.

    In many vehicle accident investigations, it is necessary to know not only the speeds and motions of the vehicles involved, but the causes of injuries suffered by their occupants as well. Such investigations seek to answer questions regarding occupant ejection, effects of seatbelt use, airbag deployment and body-interior impacts.

    Parking lots are the scene of many pedestrian accidents because of the close proximity of people and cars and the confusing traffic patterns that sometimes exist. In addition to pedestrian-vehicle collisions, many trip and fall accidents occur in parking lots as well.

    Though swimming pool accidents are sometimes the result of reckless participant behavior, they can also be caused by inadequate supervision, warnings, structures, or defective pool design. Structures commonly found in or near swimming pools include slides, ladders, diving surfaces and fencing.

    Approximately 125,000 serious injuries occur in the US each year related to the use of portable and fixed power saws. Lacerations and similar injuries, such as abrasions and avulsions, account for over 90% of these, which generally occur to males and result in losses in the tens of millions of dollars annually.

    An end user of a product expects that a given product will not only function as intended, but will be safe from non-obvious hazards. Based upon decades of experience with mishaps during use of common and specialized equipment, thousands of standards have been developed for many consumer products and industrial equipment. Numerous organizations exist, e.g., ANSI, ASTM, SAE, and ASME, that regularly review and update these standards.

    Places of business, residences, parking and recreational areas contain potential accident sources such as slippery floors and stairs, product displays, automatic doors, ledges, railings, elevators, escalators and other hazardous items. To prevent such items from causing injury to the public, premises owners and their agents have a responsibility to recognize unsafe conditions and exercise reasonable care to maintain or make conditions safe, or warn the public of the risks involved.

    Supermarkets, pharmacies, home improvement, and department stores expose their customers to many potential accident sources such as floors and aisles, which can become unsafe, and display merchandize that can topple or cause tripping. To prevent such accidents from occurring, these establishments should maintain routine scheduled inspections to insure that unsafe conditions are detected and corrected before accidents occur.

    In many vehicle rollover investigations, it is necessary to know not only the speeds and motions of the vehicles involved, but the causes of injuries suffered by their occupants as well. Such investigations seek to answer questions regarding occupant ejection, effects of seatbelt use, roof crush and body-interior impacts.

    Motor vehicle seatbelt use provides highly effective protection in frontal collisions for impact angles up to 30 degrees off-center (i.e. between 11 and 1 o’clock). All states have laws requiring their use for front seat passengers, as they have been shown to reduce moderate to severe injuries by 50%. They are less effective when your car is hit in the rear or side and sometimes their locking devices malfunction or the anchorage gives way.

    Recreation, sports, and gym equipment are subjected to large dynamic forces and must be designed to support these loads and protect users from unintentional hazards. Adequate instructions and warnings may be required if their assembly and proper use are not obvious.

    Codes and standards specify criteria necessary to ensure that a product, material or process will consistently and safely perform its intended function. Although standards provide minimum design requirements, conforming to a standard is not always sufficient in preventing an accident.

    Structural failure can often produce catastrophic results. In many cases, the damage seen after the accident is not indicative of the cause of the initial failure. Fortunately, based on physical evidence, an investigator can frequently determine how and why a structure failed.

    Heavy trucks, whether tractor-trailers, construction vehicles or garbage haulers, are involved in many serious traffic accidents due to their large weight, high centers of gravity, decreased visibility, poor handling and reduced braking efficiency. In addition, articulated tractor-trailers are subject to additional problems such as jack-knife and trailer sway instabilities.

    Motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of incidents producing injury in the US. The main issues in litigating automotive accidents involve vehicle speeds, seatbelt usage, airbag deployment, vehicle component failure (e.g. steering, braking), roadway design, occupant biomechanics, rollover, visibility, etc.

    A person’s interaction with his environment comes largely from visual cues. Without this information, a pedestrian can trip over an unseen object or a driver might not detect a dangerous situation. In order to avoid these hazards, a person requires adequate lighting and should be provided with appropriate illumination for a given task.

    A warning must inform individuals of a danger, which would not be obvious to them. It must tell them how to avoid the danger, and be easily understood. It should also provide them with the consequences of not heading the warning.

    A car is stopped for a light when it is unexpectedly rear-ended causing little or no damage to either vehicle. Nevertheless, the passengers of the struck vehicle complain of neck, shoulder and back pain. Insurance claim representatives, attorneys, medical, engineering and biomedical experts are then brought in and various conflicting allegations, testimony and opinions are expressed.

    Pedestrian and bicycle accidents in the United States result in approximately 80,000 and 50,000 injuries each year, respectively. Though pedestrians and bicycles move differently, they share important characteristics as both have little protection during a roadway collision with a motor vehicle.

    7/14/2009 · Human Factors
    A standard can be defined as a document issued by a recognized agency, and dealing with design and/or safety requirements relating to a specific product or type of activity. Such agencies include the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (051-IA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). OSHA standards are generally legally binding for an employer, while ANSI standards are generally of an advisory nature. The term "industry standard," however, is ordinarily taken to have a broader meaning, including formal standards as just defined, and also including designs and procedures not required in formal standards, though prevailing in a specific industry, and which represent generally accepted custom and practice.

    7/14/2009 · Forensic Analysis
    Persons with no training in engineering are generally unaware of the nature of engineering analysis, and so tend to assume that testing, as a means of determining the causation of accidents, is a dominant tool of the engineer. In the following examples, we shall undertake to explain the nature of engineering analysis, and to show that it is more basic than testing because testing without analysis is meaningless. Further, while analysis is always necessary in accident reconstruction, testing is only sometimes necessary.

    There are approximately 180,000 lawnmower accidents per year. In this introductory presentation, we undertake to describe the various ways in which these accidents occur.

    7/14/2009 · Forensic Analysis
    Second to automobile accidents, accidents due to falls are the leading cause of injury and death. Of these, accidents due to slipping (not tripping) form a large proportion. Slipping may occur on floors, walkways, and stairs or steps. For Introductory purposes, however, the present discussion will be limited to slipping on flat surfaces such as a floor or sidewalk.

    7/14/2009 · Human Factors
    When a person becomes aware of a dangerous situation, a time-interval must elapse before he can take defensive action against it. This time interval, commonly called the reaction time, has been found to be about 0.7 second for all normal persons, regardless of their background and training. This suggests that the reaction time depends on some basic aspect of the human physiology-involving the brain, nervous system, and muscles-which does not vary much from person to person.

    A car is stopped for a light when it is unexpectedly rear-ended by a vehicle from behind. It is not a hard impact and there is little or no damage to either vehicle, because the energy absorbing bumpers have protected them. Nevertheless, the passengers of the struck vehicle complain of neck, shoulder and back pain. The next day they allegedly experience even greater pain and visit a medical person who claims that they have been injured. Insurance claim representatives, attorneys, medical, engineering and biomedical experts are then brought in and various conflicting allegations, testimony and opinions are expressed. Do we have a legitimate injury claim on our hands or a situation of fraud?

    7/14/2009 · Forensic Analysis
    Accident reconstructionists are often called on to determine the distance that a car, covers while being braked to a stop. Conversely, the reconstructionist may be given information as to the length of the skidmarks left by a car on the roadway, and may be asked to determine how fast the car must have been going at the beginning of the skid. An expert can accomplish this with considerable accuracy, based on a knowledge of the physical principles that are involved, plus available information relating to the friction of tires on various types of road surfaces.

    7/14/2009 · Forensic Analysis
    According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are approximately 10,000 golf car related injuries requiring emergency room treatment in the US each year. One significant mode of injury in golf car accidents is passenger ejection, which can lead to serious injuries, especially of the head. Based on CPSC statistics, roughly 35% of golf car accidents involve a person falling out of the car. In addition to ejection accidents, at least 10% of golf car accidents involve a rollover and statistics indicate that such accidents are roughly twice as likely to lead to injuries requiring a hospital stay as non-rollover accidents.

    7/14/2009 · Forensic Analysis
    According to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) accident estimates, tens of thousands of stepladder accidents requiring emergency room treatment occurred annually in the United States. Approximately 85-90% of these accidents involve the user falling from the ladder and 8-9% of these injuries are serious enough to require that the victim be admitted to a hospital. In addition to posing a severe health concern, these accidents have significant loss-of-wages and high medical expense implications.

    11/30/2005 · Expert Witnessing
    Participation of the proper automotive expert in a personal injury lawsuit can govern its success. This article develops four basic principles to optimize their use, while minimizing their cost, and describes some important techniques used by the accident reconstructionist

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