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Elevators, Escalators, Automatic Doors Expert Witnesses

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Michael Panish
Construction Expert Witness & Consultant
PO Box 725
Woodland Hills, CA 91365
---------- Available ----------
ALL STATES
USA
phone: 818-429-1963
fax: 818-888-7302
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Mike Panish is an expert witness & consultant for most construction trades, specializing in automatic door systems and door sensors, door, door hardware, cabinetry, and architectural millwork.

Extensive experience working for plaintiff & defense (Federal & State). Highly credible & solid testimony.

Licensed in CA as a General Building Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Door, Lock & Security Equipment Contractor, Cabinet & Millwork Contractor, and Painting & Finish Specialties Contractor. 30+ years hands-on experience in all construction trades.

Local to CA & New England. Nationwide Inspection & Testimony.

Mike Panish is the most retained and the leading expert witness for Automatic Door injuries / Wrongful Death and Door Defects and Injuries. Security issues relating to daycare & healthcare centers. Construction defects, product liability, poor workmanship relating to contractor vs homeowner disputes and contractor fraud.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Automatic Door Personal Injury, Wrongful Death Cases
  • Door and Door Hardware Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Defects Cases
  • Cabinetry, Architectural Millwork, Furniture Personal injury, Defects Cases
  • Slip, Trip, Fall / Railings / ADA Personal Injury Cases
  • General Construction (all trades) Defects Cases, Personal Injury Cases, Wrongful Death
  • Premises Liability, Premises Security for Criminal Cases, Elder Abuse Cases, Wrongful Death
  • Building Inspections (all types), Site Evaluation, Product Evaluation, Defect Analysis, Poor Workmanship, Costs & Estimates, Plans Analysis, Proper Installation, Claim Analysis
View Michael Panish's Consulting Profile.
1/5/2016 · Construction
As a construction expert witness, I am often asked about the importance of using safety equipment. I have many years of personal experiences with the proper observance of safety procedures and appropriate safety equipment requirements.

12/11/2015 · Construction
I have been the retained expert witness by both the plaintiff and defendant to determine the causes of a variety of significant injuries that have happened as a result of improper cabinet and millwork installation practices. In most claims, if product abuse or deferred condition was not the reason for the injury, poor installation practices that have omitted required hardware was to blame. Architectural millwork injuries have occurred repeatedly in shopping centers and malls, hotels, hospitals, airports, and offices throughout the country. Casinos and restaurants are also routinely the location of significant cabinetry related failures leading to serious injuries. Many offices and industrial buildings that utilize modular furniture have had employees injured by improper or completely unattached components. In my other articles, improperly attached architectural millwork has been discussed. Heavy mirrors and headwalls have fallen upon hotel guests while they were asleep in bed. Generally, these failures occur due to lack of appropriate fasteners, missed structural connections, or product tampering.

11/2/2015 · Construction
Mechanical fasteners, when properly used as recommended by the manufacturer, almost always assure safe and secure attachment of a fastened product. In commercial and residential applications, injuries resulting from mechanical attachment failures have often been attributed to inappropriate usage of products, improper installation procedures, or the failure of a poorly manufactured fastening product. When a product becomes disconnected from its point of attachment, serious personal injury can result.

10/13/2015 · Construction
This article will discuss plastic laminated products only. Although many other laminated materials are used for residential and commercial applications, plastic laminates are one of the most common products involved in casework claims and personal injuries.

8/31/2015 · Construction
My job as a cabinetry and millwork expert witness is to inspect and evaluate casework, cabinetry, or millwork that may have either failed or may be deficient in some way. Many of the past cases where I have been designated as the cabinetry and millwork expert witness have involved analyzing products that no longer exist because they have either been replaced or destroyed. What is available for review is often in the form of architectural elevations (renderings), photographs of the damaged cabinetry, or shop drawings and samples of the materials that were used. Generally, there is a question as to what entity is responsible for the monetary loss sustained. The usual course of action by attorneys is to sue all parties in the chain of events, from design through installation.

7/21/2015 · Construction
Having recently testified as the door hardware, lock and security expert witness on a very serious elder abuse case involving the rape of a 93 year old resident of a retirement home, I am intimately aware of the potential for physical violence and neglect aimed directly at senior citizens. The following is about a completely different kind of abuse involving our senior population.

6/18/2015 · Security
Rape and patient abuse are more prevalent and common place in daycare and long term skilled nursing facilities than anyone would think possible.

5/19/2015 · Legal Issues
The first two questions that I am often asked by attorneys during deposition or trial testimony are "On what percentage of cases do you work for the Plaintiff?" and "On what percentage of cases do you work for the Defense?"

4/21/2015 · Construction
Most of the misunderstandings pertaining to contractor and homeowner relationships occur as a result of unclear or wrongly interpreted construction contracts. Upon entering into a building contract, the enthusiasm for starting the proposed work often creates a kind of glazing over or dulling of the senses on the part of the homeowner. Many times questionable terms and arrangements for payment scheduling are accepted or unknowingly agreed to as the homeowner's urgent desire to start work overshadows common sense. Often, the lowest priced contractor seduces the homeowner with promises of more value for the money.

3/19/2015 · Construction
As a Construction Expert Witness, I have been involved in numerous homeowner vs. contractor lawsuits that turned out to be directly created by contractor fraud. In this article, I have combined a few different actual cases, highlighting the various tactics used by dishonest contractors to bait and then hook the homeowner. In all of these cases, the homeowner prevailed.

2/18/2015 · Construction
The need to have increased security to public venues such as airports, schools, religious facilities, day care centers, shopping centers, and government buildings is nothing new. However, it has become apparent that many unexpected assaults and deadly attacks are coming from individuals that have gained a certain level of intimacy with the venues and organizations that they are invading. The attackers are not necessarily strangers, but people we know.

In December of 2012 a gunman broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and viciously murdered 20 children and 6 administrators. Adding Sandy Hook Elementary School to a growing list of other tragic school shootings confirms that any educational institution should be considered a viable target for future attacks.

Every good attorney needs to consider the validity of every potential claim. As the most frequently retained door expert witness, working for both Plaintiff and Defense evenly, I have been retained on door injury and wrongful death claims that were not caused by malfunctioning doors or door hardware. As discovery has often shown, people in poor physical or mental condition who are left unattended or unassisted while moving through properly functioning doorways are often the genesis of their own injuries. All commercial venues have the responsibility to maintain their facilities to industry wide standards, seek proper routine maintenance, and provide daily inspections of their door systems. However, it is difficult to provide safe passage to every patron of their facilities when some of those patrons may include persons requiring diligent physical supervision, special assistance walking, or have special needs due to disease, mental incapacity, or other unknown infirmities.

Injuries resulting from panic hardware are more prevalent than you might think. Injuries can be due to lack of maintenance on these devices and/or installation of spurious parts or components.

One of the most common types of expert related calls that I receive pertains to some sort of door injury. Door injuries caused by automatic pedestrian doors, manual doors, or garage doors often lead to serious and potentially life threatening high dollar liability and personal injury lawsuits. My case load as a door expert witness is evenly split between plaintiff and defense. I have written articles, testified, and been consultant on many door injury cases throughout the country and abroad. In addition, my services have been utilized by defense teams representing cross defendants such as door maintenance companies also named in the chain of commerce.

As a door expert, I am called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. In my professional career as a general contractor and door & hardware contractor, I have installed many different types of garage doors. I have been involved with roll up doors, both for commercial warehouse applications and automotive repair facilities that allow the passage of a motor vehicle. I have installed and serviced life safety/fire drop doors typically seen in hospitals, pharmacies, labs, shopping centers and other commercial venues. I have placed sectional doors in apartment buildings, single family homes and condominiums. My company has custom built many types of garage enclosures that have had special cosmetic concealed purposes for themed attractions. Working on historic buildings has given me the opportunity to work on sliding barn type doors, hinged parting doors and old carriage style swinging doors. I have removed and replaced the older style, overhead vintage single panel pivoting hinged garage door from commercial and residential locations, and have installed a variety of newer and safer products.

The overhead or floor mounted concealed door closer is a very common type of door closer mechanism which is normally unseen and unnoticed. In the majority of installations, these concealed closers are used on aluminum glazed storefront doors, hollow metal stand alone, or structural framed window systems. The concealed door closer design concept was initially engineered as a self-contained product that featured a center pivot allowing a variety of door functions with no exterior arm or visible operating hardware.

During the past several years I have been contacted many times regarding door injury claims related to manual door closers. In response to numerous inquires asking if I have published any manual door closer articles similar to the primers I have done on automatic pedestrian doors, I am offering this article for general information to assist attorneys in determining potential issues relating to manual door closer mechanisms.

We are all used to opening and closing doors on a daily basis. Unless you encounter a problem with the function of your doors, you probably don't give their operation and component make up much thought. I am continually contacted by attorneys seeking my advice on an injury that took place because of an improperly adjusted or malfunctioning door. In this article, I am simply discussing manually operated doors. Nothing fancy or automatic about them, the kind where you grab a lever, push a plate or bang on a bar to enter or leave a room or building. So, if you want to learn to communicate professionally and simply with your door expert or even your building manager, read on.

If you run an active automatic door service company it is not a matter of IF you will be sued . . . it is a matter of WHEN ! What every door service provider can do to proactively protect their business.

Automatic doors are generally grouped into two major categories. Low energy and high energy doors. The difference between the two types of doors pertain to the ways that the doorways operate.

As the retained expert witness on many overhead door injury and wrongful death cases, some of the injuries I have seen include injured or severed fingers and limbs, bodily trauma, and death. Disabling injuries often lead to involved lawsuits due to the combination of jobsite and employer, landlord and tenant contractual agreements, and property owner liability insurance coverage. Knowing who is responsible for maintenance and inspections of these doorways is essential.

In conjunction with many other articles that I have had published pertaining to high energy doors, or what most people think of when they say automatic doors, low energy systems can be equally dangerous and need to be appropriately and properly maintained.

Within the past few months, I have been retained as expert witness to evaluate revolving door injuries in over a dozen different locations nationwide. While I usually see an even distribution of sliding door, swinging door, and revolving door injury cases, the revolving door injuries currently seem to be the most prevalent. What is particularly interesting is that no two of my recent cases were created by the same problem.

I have been involved in many automatic door cases during the past few years working for both plaintiff and defense. As discussed in one of my previous articles (The Ins and Outs of Automatic Door Operation), automatic doors are highly complex pieces of equipment that require daily attention. Most injuries occur when some component of the automatic door system malfunctions.

A basic primer in how they work, what to look for, and how to analyze defects vs. deferred maintenance. Expert door contractor, Michael Panish, takes you through the basics for your case. A basic primer about Automatic Door functions.

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Iola Goeke
3660 Hartsfield Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303

USA
phone: 850-558-3100
fax: 850-575-8454
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B.E.C. Consulting, LLC was established in 1982. Since that time, we have provided top-level consulting engineering services and accident reconstruction to our clients; law firms, insurance companies, state and local agencies, manufacturing companies, and clients who are seeking product design analysis and other engineering related services.

Our engineers represent a broad range of engineering disciplines which enables us to work on a variety of cases using the team approach. The teams at B.E.C are comprised of Engineers, Technical Specialists, Graphics Specialists, as well as Research and Administrative Personnel, so that each case is given personal attention and is handled efficiently and effectively. Our offices are located in Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Venice working in almost every state in the United States, including Alaska.

Areas of Expertise:
  • All Areas of Accident Reconstruction - Including Automobile, Tractor-Trailer, Motorcycle/Bicycle & Pedestrian
  • Engineering Consulting
  • FARO 3-D Scanning
  • Black Box Downloads
  • Construction Zone / Roadside Safety
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Failure Analysis
  • Product Design
  • Product Development
  • Material Handling System
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Slip / Trip / Fall
  • Computer Animation, Electronic Graphics
Every aspect of our firm is designed to serve our clients needs; conference rooms for mediations and depositions, a research and testing lab, secured evidence storage, facilities for expert inspections, and easy access to airport and hotel facilities for our out-of-town clients. We are truly a full service engineering firm.

Because of this team approach and a commitment to customer service, B.E.C. has attained regional and national recognition as a leader in forensic engineering services and new product development. This excellent example and tireless dedication to serving our client’s needs has resulted in a devoted client base and reputation second to none.

Dr. Charles Benedict, P.E., founded Benedict Engineering Company in 1982 and our name has since changed to B.E.C. Consulting, LLC. He has over 35 years experience in the fields of product and machine design and analysis, vehicular accident reconstruction of all types, and product and system failure analysis. He has designed, developed, manufactured, and tested more than sixty different products and machine systems. Dr. Benedict is well respected in the fields of forensic engineering, product and machine system design and analysis and patenting.

Expertise:
  • Biomechanics
  • Occupant Kinematics
  • Vehicle Restraint Systems
  • Vehicle Controllability
  • Material Handling
  • Patent Infringement
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • General Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Fire and Explosion Analysis
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Electrical Issues
  • Dr. Brian Pfeifer, P.E., is also a principal with B.E.C. Consulting, and has been practicing forensic engineering for over 15 years. He holds several patents on roadside safety devices and studied roadside safety at the University of Nebraska. He is a consulting engineer with a strong background in the design, development, and implementation of roadside safety hardware. His current work consists of vehicular accident reconstruction, analysis of maintenance of traffic issues, premises liability, investigation and analysis of mechanical systems and product failures, and development of automated material-handling systems.

    Expertise:
    • Roadside Hazards
    • Vehicle Controllability
    • Occupant Kinematics
    • Roadway Design
    • Guardrails and Bridges
    • Maintenance of Traffic
    • Roadway Design
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Slip / Trip / Fall
  • Product Design
  • General Engineering
  • Mrs. Traci Campbell, P.E., CXLT, is an Industrial engineer with specialties in industrial accident reconstruction, including forklifts, construction machinery, appliances, and manufacturing equipment. Her experience includes vehicular accident reconstruction involving automobiles, trucks, tractor-trailers, and recreational vehicles, as well as slip, trip, and fall analysis, product failure analysis, and workplace-safety related issues.

    Expertise:
    • Industrial Accidents
    • Safety Analysis
    • Product Design / Failure Analysis
    • Slip / Trip / Fall
    • Guarding / Warnings
    • Workplace Safety
    • Bicycle Accidents
    • Confined Spaces
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Human and Environment Interaction
  • Theme Parks / Recreation Facilities
  • Airbag and Black Box
  • General Engineering
  • Mr. Chris Yates, P.E., is a Mechanical engineer and Principal with our firm, specializing in accident reconstruction. His current work involves the analysis and reconstruction of vehicular accidents, including vehicular dynamics and occupant restraint as well as the investigation of industrial accidents and product analysis.

    Expertise:
    • Black Box Analysis
    • Motorcycle / Bicycle Accidents
    • Mechanical Design
    • Product Guarding Design
    • Fire and Explosion
    • Seat Belt Analysis
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • General Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Slip / Trip / Fall
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    Dr. J. Nigel Ellis
    Ph.D., Principal, CSP, P.E., CPE
    306 Country Club Drive
    Wilmington DE 19803
    USA
    phone: 800-372-7775
    fax: 302-571-0756
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    Ellis Litigation Support (ELS) is headed by Dr. J. Nigel Ellis a leading authority on fall protection. Dr. Ellis has more than 40 years of safety engineering experience. Based upon his unsurpassed experience and knowledge, Dr. Ellis has performed fall hazard assessments in hundreds of facilities and construction sites and has been retained as an expert witness in approximately 1000 fall-related cases nationwide. Dr. Ellis’ participation has led to multi-million dollar settlements/awards in a number of cases and exoneration of defendants in others.

    Through his work with OSHA and as an ANSI and ASTM committee member, including providing comments and testimony before OSHA hearings, Dr. Ellis has been instrumental in the development of various OSHA regulations and ANSI standards. Dr. Ellis has written the seminal textbook, Introduction to Fall Protection currently in its fourth edition and published by the American Society of Safety Engineers and available for purchase on the ELS web site www.FallSafety.com.

    Dr. Ellis is a founder and board member of the International Society for Fall Protection and is a frequent speaker at the national conventions of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Safety Council. Dr. Ellis also is a published member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers and is a regular contributor to Compliance Magazine the Greyhouse Safet Directory.

    ELS also draws upon its sister company, Ellis Fall Safety Solutions (EFSS), to offer expertise in a wide range of engineering related matters.

    ELS Areas of Expertise:
  • Fall Protection – all areas where fall hazards exist
  • OSHA, ANSI and related building codes, standards and regulations
  • Ergonomics/Human Factors
  • Structural Engineering
  • Slips, trips, friction co-efficients
  • Hunter’s Tree Stand Cases
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • View Consulting Profile.
    The general industry, construction and maritime standards each have their own requirement for fall protection. A written fall protection plan, a method for updating the written plan and a property means of assessment should all be included in your company's fall protection plan. The following checklist provides guidelines for proper assessment of your fall protection plan.

    J. Nigel Ellis, PhD
    This best selling books on fall protection takes a systems approach to identifying slip, trip and fall hazards and describes the essential elements of a fall protection program.
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    Gerald "Randy" Clark
    Verticle Transportation Equipment Consultant
    1501 Secret Ravine Pkwy. #1931
    Roseville CA 95661
    USA
    phone: 925-286-6628
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    Gerald Clark Escalator Elevator Expert PhotoGerald "Randy" Clark has over 46 years of management, engineering, and field experience in the installation, maintenance, modernization, and repair of Vertical Transportation Equipment.

    Background - A C-11 California State Licensee Elevator and Escalator Installation Contractor, Mr. Clark served for 17 years as the Superintendent of Elevator, Escalator Maintenance, and Modernization at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). In this capacity, he was also the Creator / Director of a pioneering in-house elevator / escalator mechanic training program for BART.

    Mr. Clark's capabilities also derive from continuous employment in the management of engineering and field operations of national elevator companies and large public transportation systems, serving commercial office settings and the public, mass transit district environment.

    Litigation Support - Gerald Clark provides expert Witness services, testifying in litigation arising out of Elevator and Escalator Accidents. His specialized knowledge is available to attorneys representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. A Special Insurance Consultant, he has also reviewed and advised on over 400 insurance claims made pursuant to accidents and injuries on escalator and elevator equipment.

    Mr. Clark's services include accident investigation, depositions, case preparation, and trial testimony as needed. He is qualified as an expert in both State and Federal jurisdictions.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Accident Scene Inspection, Investigation
    • Condition Evaluation
    • Operation Assessment
    • Code Compliance
    • Maintenance Performance
  • Dangerous Conditions
  • Common Carrier Liability
  • Negligent Installation
  • Negligent Maintenance
  • Design Immunity
  • View Gerald Clark's Consulting Profile.
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    Michael C. Fagan, QEC
    Qualified Elevator Consultant
    1177 Branham Lane, Suite #292
    San Jose CA 95118
    USA
    phone: 800-861-5269
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    Michael Fagan, QEC, is a nationally recognized Elevator Consultant with over 50 years of industry experience in elevator Design, Construction, Modernization, Maintenance, and Repair.

    As a Managing Partner at JSG Elevator, Mr. Fagan interfaces with Federal, State, and Local governmental agencies and universities, owner representatives, architects, managing agents, and elevator code authorities in the locations of operations, new product availability, and reliability research.

    Mr. Fagan's background includes working with NASA, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the Veterans Administration on special projects, specifications for maintenance, repairs, and modernization. He has served as a National Elevator Industry Educational Program Instructor and is the author of numerous articles on elevator maintenance, modernization and repair for Building Operating and Management magazine.

    Litigation Support - Michael Fagan has been a court approved Expert Witness for over 20 years. He has provided knowledgeable research and effective analysis in over 400 litigation cases and has been deposed over 200 times. Mr. Fagan provides litigation support, including mediation, investigation, and technical services to attorneys for both Plaintiff and Defendant, carriers, and manufacturers, in the areas of:
    • Construction Claims
    • Accident Investigation
    • Accident Reconstruction
    • Elevator Safety
  • Wrongful Death
  • Vertical Transportation
  • Safety Engineering
  • Risk Management
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    David A Cooper
    Eric A. Lee, CFE, Principal of Consulting
    Kestrel House
    Marine Road
    Eastbourne East Sussex BN22 7AU
    GBR
    phone: 01323-431325
    fax: 01323-431309
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    LECS (UK) Limited is an International Engineering Firm specializing in Lifts, Escalators, Facade Access and Funiculars (cable cars). With over 20 years of trading history, their specialized engineers are qualified, experienced and carry full professional insurances. Members of the engineering team have all worked for major contractors and have held positions including Senior Engineer, Project Manager and Commissioning / Test Engineers. As a result, LECS has over 150 years of accumulated experience within the key staff of the engineering team and currently employs 10% of the world’s graduates of the MSc in Lift Engineering from the University of Northampton.

    LECS (UK) Limited is a member of independent bodies such as ACE, BSI and ConstructionLine. They have an accredited Quality Assurance scheme to ISO 9001 (2008) and are regularly audited. They provide services for many market sectors including overseas projects, hotels, retail, commercial health, local authority and heritage.

    The engineers at LECS (UK) have extensive experience as Expert Witnesses and Consultants in litigation involving lifts and escalators. Their services include preparing expert reports in accordance with Regulation 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and also in Criminal cases. They are also available for adjudication and arbitration cases. LECS (UK) expert witness services have been called on in overseas situations including Gran Canaria, Dubai, Hong Kong, Spain and Turkey.

    Services Include:
  • Expert Witness - Litigation Support
  • Statutory Inspections
  • Maintenance Audits
  • Acquisition & Condition Surveys
  • Project Management
  • Traffic Analysis
  • Risk Assessments
  • New Installations & Modernization Specifications
  • Maintenance Specifications
  • Training
  • Portfolio Management
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    Steven Pietropaolo, PE, CFEI, CFII
    President & CEO
    7 Reservoir Road
    North White Plains NY 10603
    USA
    phone: 914-670-0208 or 914-714-3720 (Cell)
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    Steven Pietropaolo, PE, CFEI, CFII, President & CEO, is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York, amongst others. He is a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and a Certified Fire Investigator Instructor.

    Mr. Pietropaolo has over 25 years of hands on engineering experience including electrical, mechanical, materials, safety, fire protection, and construction. He has knowledge of codes and standards used in construction and industry including building codes, safety codes, and industrial codes. He also has extensive experience in Utility Company procedures / equipment and investigating major incidents involving electrical, gas, steam system failures, and construction accidents.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Pietropaolo has testified as an expert witness many times in cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Federal Courts. He has been retained on numerous large multimillion-dollar property damage cases as well as fatal accidents and fires / explosions including those that resulted in injury.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Fires / Explosions
    • Fire Protection Systems
    • Construction Defects / Failures
    • Construction Accidents
    • Equipment Failures
  • Product Liability / Warning
  • Property Loss Subrogation
  • Personal Injury - Slips / Fall
  • Electro / Mechanical System
  • Sports / Recreational Accidents
  • View Steven Pietropaolo's Consulting Profile.