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Mechanical / Plumbing / Piping / HVAC Construction Expert Witnesses

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Scott Friesen, PE
Senior Consultant
Contact Rush Porter, Director of Business Development
8330 Juniper Creek Lane
San Diego CA 92126
phone: 858-587-2874
fax: 858-587-6749
Scott Friesen Energy Engineering Expert PhotoScott Friesen, PE, is a licensed Professional Engineer in California, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, Mississippi and two Canadian provinces (Alberta and Manitoba), and is LEED Accredited (CaGBC) and certified as an Energy Manager. Scott has more than 14 years of experience in Design and Construction of HVAC, Plumbing and Building Energy Conservation, System Design, Construction and Forensic Analysis. He has also performed commissioning, energy audits and was involved in marketing and business development.

Scott's responsibilities at Ivey include design and forensic analysis of HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and energy management systems. He performs site inspections, testing, research, product analysis, cost estimating and is responsible for writing reports and testifying in depositions, hearings and trials.

Scott is a member of Association of Professional Engineers, Geologist, Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC).

Experience (partial listing):
  • Approximately 75 HVAC, fire protection and plumbing design projects
  • Approximately six design error and omission expert engagements
  • Approximately 20 residential construction defect expert engagements
  • Approximately 16 commercial construction defect expert engagements
  • 10 LEED design projects
  • 8 HVAC and plumbing commissioning projects
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William Acorn, P.E., FASHRAE
10617 N Hayden Rd, Suite B-108
Scottsdale AZ 85260
phone: (602) 888-7250
fax: 520-577-0851
William Acorn Technology Analysis ExpertWilliam R. Acorn is founder of Acorn Consulting Services, LLC, an engineering firm. As a consulting mechanical engineer, Bill provides project analysis, forensic reconstructions and litigation support services relating to the design, delivery and functioning of high-tech manufacturing facilities, semiconductor fabrication facilities, institutional laboratories, data centers, health care facilities and a variety of commercial buildings. He is a recognized expert in the evaluation of deficiencies in HVAC systems, cleanrooms, piping systems, refrigeration systems, construction defects, building and fire code compliance, and patent and trade secret disputes. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

Bill has more than 40 years of experience as a professional engineer and is a recognized expert in assessing, evaluating, remediating and providing testimony on complex project design, construction and operational matters. His consulting expertise has been influential in shaping approaches to code compliance and life safety in semiconductor and similar advanced technology facilities.

  • Registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Utah.
  • Registered with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying NCEES (Certificate No. 6999)
  • Fellow in the HVAC industry leading organization ASHRAE
  • Visiting lecturer at the Arizona State University Del E. Webb School of Construction in Tempe, AZ
  • Advisor to CREATE, ACE – Alliance for Construction Excellence and the IAB – Industry Advisory Board, all affiliated with ASU

    Building Systems Analysis:

  • HVAC and Refrigeration
  • Process and Power Piping
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Standard of Care in Design and Construction
  • Chemical Exposures in the Workplace
  • Cleanroom Design and Performance
  • Codes and Standards
  • Patent and Trade Secret Disputes

    Bill’s pragmatic approach to both forensic and litigation consulting as well as project consulting is based on more than 40 years of real-world experience as a design professional, mentor and forensic analyst, as well as many years as an instructor in professional and academic settings.

    Litigation Support:

  • Forensic Analysis
  • Strategic Litigation Consulting
  • Trial Demonstratives
  • Expert Testimony

    Forensic Analysis, litigation consulting and expert testimony. Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of jurisdictions throughout the US and Asia.

    Bill’s ability to explain complex issues to non-technical audiences, including juries, mediators and judges, is a key to successfully solving your litigation challenges.

    Consulting Services:

    Services range from peer review to conceptual design to development of strategies and programs for expedited project delivery.

    Bill frequently acts as an owner’s agent and mentor, functioning as an extension of the owner’s project team. On other projects, Bill serves as a subject matter expert assisting project delivery firms in their development of viable solutions and review of construction documents.

    As a project consultant, Bill assures the project gets off to the right start and provides his expertise through completion and operation to maximize return on investment.

    Consulting Expertise Includes:

  • Project Design and Management Consulting
  • Forensic Analysis and Litigation Consulting
  • Mentoring & Advanced Education
  • 4/11/2005 · Construction
    Introduction: In our first Volume of the Forensic Exchanger, we discussed some of the all too many reasons why HVAC systems fail. If you missed that edition and are interested in that topic e-mail us and we will gladly send it to you. We will follow up with more discussion of that important topic in later editions

    William R. Acorn
    Facilities which utilize hazardous liquids and gases represent a significant potential liability to the owner, operator, and general public in terms of personnel safety and preservation of assets. It is obvious that a catastrophic incident or loss of property or personnel is to be avoided at all costs. This book was conceived to give the reader a guide to understanding the requirements of the various codes and regulations that apply to the design, construction, and operation of facilities utilizing hazardous materials in their processes.
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    Albert Ferrari, P.E., C.S.P.
    1000 Elbert Street
    Oakland CA 94602
    phone: 510-530-4777
    fax: 510-531-3675
    Albert Ferrari, P.E., C.S.P. is a Mechanical Engineer and Safety Professional experienced in both the micro and in the macro focus. Mr. Ferrari is particularly sensitive to reliability, safety, and function. His Forensic Engineering experience includes 25 years in Accident Reconstruction, Causal Analysis, Failure Analysis, Codes, Standards and Regulations, Consulting and Testimony.

    Mr. Ferrari provides Expert Witness Consulting and Testimony services to Defense attorneys, Plaintiff attorneys, Claims adjusters and Insurance companies.

    Engineering Work Includes:
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Pedestrian Facilities
  • Machine Design
  • Thermal and Mechanical Energy Analysis
  • Structural Load and Stress Analysis
  • Piping and Tanks
  • System Safety and Human Factors Analysis for Design of Hazardous Equipment
  • Evaluations Include
  • Cause of Injury, Loss and Damage
  • Adequacy of Products, System, Materials
  • Standard of Care of Design, Use, Repair
  • Cause and Origin of Fires; Arson
  • Services Include:
  • Investigation and Consultation
  • Diagnostics, Testing and Analysis
  • Technical Photography and Video
  • Literature and Standards Studies
  • Codes and Regulations Analysis
  • Reports and Testimony
  • Evaluations
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    Thomas H. Burtness, PE
    2195 Wagon Trail Rd.
    White Heath IL 61884
    phone: 217-687-2000
    Thomas Burtness Electrical Engineering Expert PhotoThomas H. Burtness, PE, is an Electrical Engineer specializing in both Electrical and Building Construction - equipment selection, specification, and installation (actually “working with the tools”), as well as cost control techniques.

    Background - Mr. Burtness has 40+ years of experience in the design, specification, construction contract administration, installation, startup, and troubleshooting of electrical power, on-site generation, distribution, control, and instrumentation systems and equipment for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal occupancies. His experience also includes water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment plants, and military facilities.

    Additional expertise includes Illumination Engineering for street, roadway, and area lighting including photometric footcandle requirements, calculations, field verification, equipment specifications, installation, and analysis of failure, glare, overlighting and underlighting.

    Litigation Support - Since, 1981, Mr. Burtness has been providing forensic electrical engineering services to insurance companies and attorneys including accident and failure investigations, determination of cause and origin, litigation support, expert opinions, reports, and testimony. His services are available nationwide, with PE registration by comity available in most states.

    Cases Involve:
    • Industrial Accidents
    • Electrocution
    • Personal Injury
    • Fire
    • Equipment and Machinery Failure
  • Failure of Safety Circuitry
  • Grounding
  • Lightning Damage and Fire
  • Construction Defects / Contract Claims
  • Design and Specification Disputes
  • View Thomas Burtness' Consulting Profile.
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    Craig Moskowitz, MBA, MS, PE
    President/Managing Member
    PO Box 4532
    Stamford CT 06907
    phone: 866-432-4677
    fax: 203-504-8838
    Since 2010, the President and Managing Member of CLM Engineering Associates, LLC, which concentrates its focus on forensic engineering/expert witness work for the insurance industry and legal community. In addition, we offer construction management, civil engineering and building inspection services.

    Extensive construction management experience on both commercial and residential projects. Performed safety inspections on both civilian and military projects through application of OSHA regulations. Designed drainage systems for the government while an officer with the United States military. Cost estimating for various projects exceeding $500 million. Design document creation and management of high-rise construction in Manhattan. Marketplace. Management of telecommunications projects for Verizon in Manhattan including CPM schedule creation and updating.

    Directed and managed all water distribution system and sewer system work while working as a contractor to the New York City Department of Design and Construction. Forensic work related to evaluation of structural steel systems with commercial building construction and insurance-related claims due to storm damage on commercial and residential structures.

    Craig Moskowitz has been deposed 4 times in litigation matters.

    View Craig Moskowitz's Consulting Profile.
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    Curt M. Freedman, PE, CEM, CEA, LEED AP
    24 Ridge Road
    Longmeadow MA 01106
    phone: 413-567-1175
    Curt Freedman Forensic Engineering Expert PhotoCurt M. Freedman, PE, CEM, CEA, LEED AP, has over 30 years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer. He is registered to practice in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, and Ohio.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Freedman provides forensic engineering services for the insurance industry and attorneys representing Plaintiff and Defense. With a portable microscope diagnostic camera, his investigations include material science evaluations, as well as mechanical and structural evaluations. Mr. Freedman's background also includes designing, engineering, and constructing HVAC systems, plumbing systems, and utility conservation products for the residential, commercial, and industrial sector.

    Curt Freedman also offers professional forensic services for the Investigation of Child Heatstroke / Hot Car Incident Deaths. His detailed services in this area include evaluation, field testing, and analytic modeling to determine real time interior temperature of the subject vehicle.

    Areas of Expertise:
  • Appliances
  • Building Temperature Modeling
  • Carbon Dioxide Gas Testing
  • Carbon Monoxide Investigations
  • Compressed Air Systems
  • Construction Cost Evaluations
  • Controls Systems
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Flat Plate Solar Panels
  • Forklifts
  • Furnaces
  • Hydronic Boilers
  • Industrial Accidents
  • Fire Sprinkler Head Failures
  • Ladders
  • Loss of Heat / Fuel Freeze
  • Manufacturing Equipment Accidents
  • Metallic Pipe Fitting Failures
  • Motor Failures
  • Plastic Fitting Failures
  • Plumbing / Piping Systems
  • Rooftop HVAC Equipment
  • Stairs, Ramps
  • Slips & Falls
  • Steam Boilers
  • Photo-voltaic Solar Panels
  • Pump Failures
  • Solar Insolation Modeling
  • Toilet Failures
  • Water heater failures;

  • View Curt Freedman's Consulting Profile.
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    L. Peter Petrovsky, PE, CE, ME
    31157 Lobo Vista Road
    Agoura CA 91301
    phone: (818) 489-4400
    Peter Petrovsky, PE, CE, ME , has provided services as a consultant and an expert witness in applied Civil and Mechanical Engineering Science, Building, Infrastructure, and Earthwork Contracting. His strength and experience is to successfully combine engineering and applied mechanics with the field experience and contracting skills.

    He packages civil, mechanical engineering, as well as, general, engineering, earthwork and paving and hazardous waste contracting into one package for the use of his clients. His services also include construction job site safety in fire prevention and personnel protection.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Petrovsky's shirtsleeve approach to problem solving gives him the ability to distill complex technical issues to a palatable presentation in the appropriate forum. Serving the legal industry for 25 years, he has been retained in over 600 plaintiff and defense cases, been deposed over 200 times, and given testimony approximately 100 times.

    Mr. Petrovsky's services include testing and analysis, trial preparation case analysis, deposition review and expert summary, evidence presentation, consulting, report writing, court exhibits, static and computer depictions, construction and engineering contract analysis, accident reconstruction, and interpretation of administrative regulations. He has assisted counsel on cases in California, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kentucky, and Nevada.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Design: Machine safety and guarding, Strength of materials, wood, metals, plastics
    • Materials Issues and Failure Analysis: Mechanisms, components and machinery; Pressure testing, fatigue analysis
    • Accident Investigations: Heavy equipment accidents, bulldozers, backhoes, excavators; Cranes, lifts, manipulators
    • Air conditioning and Refrigeration: Thermography services and analysis
    • Civil Engineering: Design of Buildings; Residential, industrial, commercial site plans; Land development, site preparation and paving, drilling and boring; Public and private roadways, sidewalks, ramps, parking lots, lighting; Septic systems, sewers, public sewer blockage and stoppage; Scaffolds & scaffolding erection and accidents; Retaining walls and retaining wall failure; Foundation failure / structural damage; Plumbing leaks, water intrusion, explosions; Earthquake Damage Assessment and Remediation; Construction Disputes / Insurance claims; Stucco defects and failures; Job site fire prevention industry standards
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    David M. Bekus
    45 Hunt Lane
    Skilllman NJ 08558
    phone: 732-735-7444
    David M. Bekus has over 35 years in the Construction Industry specializing in home design, construction, and remodeling. Mr. Bekus has been a project manager, overseeing all aspects of construction from conception and approvals to final sales for single homes and developments.

    Mr. Bekus is licensed by the State of New Jersey as a building inspector (RCS, ICS, and HHS), a licensed home remodeler, and a licensed new home builder. He is also certified in Project Management, Cost Estimating, Construction Methods, Construction Site Safety, and is a EPA Lead Safe Certified Contractor.

    Litigation Support - As a seasoned expert in the construction field, Mr. Bekus adheres to building code practices and high construction standards to provide reliable advice and credible expert witness testimony. His services include project evaluations, building code inspections, and clearly and precisely written reports. Mr. Bekus' expertise is available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant and has testified in NJ superior court Areas of Expertise:
    • Industry Standards
    • Building Code Compliance, Specifications
    • Contract and Plan Specifications
    • New Construction Defects
    • Roof Issues
    • Water Issues
  • Framing Defects
  • Siding Defects
  • Concrete Defects
  • Insurance Claims
  • Poor Workmanship
  • Home Owner Association Issues
  • View David Bekus' Consulting Profile.
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    Gerald O. Davis, PE
    4723 Squaw Valley Court
    Glen Allen, VA
    VA, DC, MD, WV, NC USA
    phone: 804-967-9129
    fax: 804-967-9130
    Gerald O. Davis, PE, President and co-owner of DM&ME, has over 40 years experience in Metallurgy and Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Davis is a Forensic Expert in Metallurgy, Corrosion, Mechanical Failures, & Root-Cause Failure Analysis. His recent background includes work as a corrosion researcher, senior engineer, and program manager for Battelle Memorial Institute, DNV, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Inc., respectively and, since 2004, as president of DM&ME.

    Mr. Davis has been offering Expert Witness Services for the past 14 years for product liability and personal injury evaluations. He is retained for his knowledge of Forensic Engineering and Root-Cause Failure Analysis. Mr. Davis is experienced with depositions and trial testimony. His services include specification and interpretation of metallurgical lab tests, review of mechanical failures and review of physical evidence and its meaning. His findings are presented in clear oral and written reports which he provides to judges and juries in non-technical language.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Metallurgy
    • Laboratory Testing and Interpretation
    • Corrosion Analysis & Control Methods
    • Mechanical Design Analysis
    View Consulting Profile.
    Many considerations are included in a valid engineering design process. Typically decisions that provide for safe service and expected reliability in the given component or structure are the most critical. Determining the numerical value of an appropriate safety factor (or factor of safety) during design is vital to achieving mechanical or structural integrity.

    11/16/2015 · Corrosion
    A common cause of failures in various types of equipment is fatigue failure of bolts that secure parts together. Fatigue in any type of dynamically loaded mechanical component accounts for more than 80% of all failures. This post reviews some important factors in fatigue failure of metallic bolts.

    The working relationship between the attorney and their expert witness in a case can be more effective if a few simple guidelines are followed. These are common sense things but one or more can be overlooked in the frequent day-to-day rush that busy attorneys face. When that happens some of the potential contributions from the expert may be compromised or lost to the detriment of the attorney's client.

    6/30/2015 · Engineering
    Too frequently an attorney will begin to seek a potential expert witness only after having done considerable initial work. Often there is a last minute rush to locate and select specialized technical assistance. These approaches can have expensive consequences. Alternatively, securing a suitable expert early in the litigation process offers the following advantages for the retaining attorney:

    6/2/2015 · Engineering
    Many negative consequences can result from failures of a range of different products that often lead to property & casualty insurance disputes or product liability legal actions. The products may include consumer or industrial goods. Typically the private user or worker is injured or a business incurs significant financial loss. The injured individual, insurance carrier, attorney(s) or industrial manufacturer and user are all interested to confirm what went wrong – and who is liable. Resolution often depends on engineering analysis.

    5/7/2015 · Corrosion
    Clearly it is advantageous to know when corrosion is occurring in operating equipment to avoid future failure. There is extensive literature on this topic. This post is a brief summary of information selected from the four references cited below. Each source includes several other references.

    4/7/2015 · Manufacturing
    "3D printing" or the more descriptive term - additive manufacturing (AM) - has received much publicity in recent years. What is this technology and what are some of its practical features? This blog is a summary of AM and its on-going development to make actual service components using metal alloys. Presented are selected portions of information provided in the two references cited.

    3/3/2015 · Corrosion
    Most engineers know about the danger of galvanic corrosion caused by physical contact between dissimilar metals exposed to a corrosive liquid. However, this possibility is often overlooked and other features of this type of corrosion may not be widely known.

    1/21/2015 · Failure Analysis
    It is essential when beginning a root-cause failure analysis involving metallic materials to collect and maintain the as-found physical evidence properly prior to detailed examinations. This has two objectives. In all cases collecting and protecting the evidence in its undisturbed condition provides the best opportunity to derive meaningful good results from the subsequent analyses. Secondly, in a legal proceeding lack of attention to these matters can produce the accusation of spoilation of evidence. As a minimum this will cause presentation problems for the offending party in the suit. At worst such deficiencies by that party may cause the case to be thrown out.

    12/12/2014 · Corrosion
    Aluminum alloy materials are well known for their light weight and strength-to-weight ratios. They are also susceptible to several forms of corrosion. Relative to other metals, their natural electrochemical potential places them adjacent to other very susceptible (active) metals such as magnesium (Mg) and zinc (Zn) in a traditional galvanic series in seawater. However, Al alloys naturally form a very thin, protective (passive) oxide film on their surface when exposed to oxygen. This film prevents corrosion as long as it is maintained over the surface. Pitting corrosion is a common form of attack on aluminum. This is typically caused by exposure to halide ions, chloride ions being the most common type found in corrosive media, that breakdown the passive film at discreet spots. This permits pits to initiate and grow.

    11/7/2014 · Metallurgy
    Often when engineers consider mechanical fatigue they envision cyclic, reversing stresses in a spinning shaft or possibly the up and down flex of aircraft wings. Rolling contact fatigue (RCF) or the associated mechanical wear is an important, closely related process to the traditional mechanism of fatigue but with distinct differences. RCF is also often known as spalling.

    9/25/2014 · Product Liability
    This term raises some vital issues that the engineer should be aware of when using it. First several definitions are available and thus it is perceived differently by different groups and individuals. From a legal standpoint, in many states, using the term to describe a product that was involved in an incident involving an injury means that the designer or manufacturer of that product may be financially liable for the injury. Engineers sometimes use the term simply to indicate an imperfection in a product without intending its frequent legal use. Further the engineer realizes that no material and no finished product is perfect. However, these variations from perfection do not necessarily mean they were cause for failure and thus the injury that may occur in a given incident. Some product liability attorneys may not readily acknowledge or understand this distinction.

    8/21/2014 · Corrosion
    The optimal time to make decisions and take actions to minimize potential failures of equipment, facilities and components is during their design. This two-part blog post provides an overview of the types of issues involved and specific actions that can be useful to the design engineer. Archived blog posts (at that discuss specifics are provided parenthetically.

    7/15/2014 · Metallurgy
    Four, tri-lobe pumps were damaged and required extensive repair during the latter stages of construction for a modification in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The economic loss was significant and the general contractor for the work paid the plant's owner for the loss. The renovated units were installed and are in use. However, the general contractor then sued one of its subcontractors - a welding contractor that fabricated and completed weld joints between piping sections on the inlet side of the pumps. The general contractor claimed poor quality welds in the piping permitted loosened weld fragments to enter the pumps during the required water flow verification of the system and this caused the damage.

    6/9/2014 · Corrosion
    Most realize that damage due to corrosion of metals is costly - but what specifically is that cost and what is included in the total? A study completed in 2002 sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) and implemented by CC Technologies Laboratories (now part of DVN) addressed those questions.

    5/2/2014 · Corrosion
    Material selection entails picking an engineering material - either metal alloy or non-metal - that is inherently resistant to the particular corrosive environment and also meets other criteria. Variables that will affect corrosion are established along with materials that may provide suitable resistance for those conditions. Obviously other requirements such as cost and mechanical properties of the potential materials must be considered.

    3/28/2014 · Corrosion
    Pin-hole leaks from a fire-control sprinkler piping system just above the false ceiling of multiple rooms in an office building resulted in a suit against three parties involved with supplying the system. The plaintiff - a financial service organization that owned the building - had much computerized transaction data stored on magnetic tapes in several rooms damaged or destroyed by the incident. The monetary loss was major. The leaks occurred within two years after the system was installed. This period is clearly far short of the expected life of the system. Defendants in the case included the supplier of the piping used in the system, the engineering firm that designed it and the installation contractor.

    2/26/2014 · Corrosion
    A variety of low-voltage electronic devices may fail to operate properly because of exposure to certain corrosive, gaseous environments. Susceptible items include consumer products such as microwave ovens, audio equipment, TV's and personal computers as well as many types of industrial sensors and automatic control devices. Failure generally occurs because of specific application factors. These include the severity of the environment, the presence or absence of atmospheric sealing of components within the device and the metals used at critical internal locations. Frequently complete failure doesn't occur but normal operation is erratic.

    A full size, cylindrical tank trailer pulled by a truck tractor/ cab split open on its lower section at mid-span and released hundreds of gallons of hydrochloric acid (HCl) onto a secondary highway in a northeastern state. When this occurred the truck driver jumped out of the truck's cab and sustained acid burns to his ankles because he was wearing low-quarter shoes.

    12/20/2013 · Failure Analysis
    A severe personal injury incident occurred as a recreational fishing boat was approaching a dock at approximately 20 mph after a day on the water. The large outboard engine (75 HP) on the stern of the boat struck a fixed underwater obstruction, flipped into the boat while still running and amputated the hand of a passenger seated near the engine.

    11/26/2013 · Engineering
    A licensed professional engineer (P.E.) is required to adhere to a Code of Ethics for Engineers in all work he undertakes. However, there are some special criteria when employed as an expert witness.

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    Heather Suttle
    Marketing Manager
    411 N. Sam Houston Parkway East
    Suite 350
    Houston Texas 77060
    phone: 2813584441
    fax: 281-358-2517
    EFI Global is a full-service Engineering, Fire Investigation, Environmental, Health and Safety, and specialty consulting firm. Over the last four decades, they have grown from a boutique firm to become a recognized leader in engineering failure analysis, origin and cause investigations, and environmental consulting. This expertise coupled with the extensive coverage of our 27 national offices, more than 400 professionals, and global work abroad capability allows EFI Global to deliver timely responses that consistently meets their clients’ expectations.

    EFI Global's continuing record of success has earned them several rankings in national publications including Engineering-News Record, Business Insurance, and Zweig White. EFI Global employs professional engineers licensed in nearly all 50 states, as well as licensed fire investigators and environmental professionals. Their team of licensed professionals and numerous strategic partnerships can respond to most projects within 48 hours, regardless of location.

    When faced with litigation, EFI Global's clients rely on valid, factual conclusions that translate scientific and technical facts into understandable concepts that can be supported with expert witness testimony. From thousands of fire cause and origin investigation for cases in federal, district and state courts, EFI has expanded its testimony expertise to assist the legal community with disputes arising from forensic engineering, accident reconstruction, environmental consulting, asbestos-related cases, mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) litigation support, and catastrophe claims.

    Expert Witness Services:
    • Insurance Litigation
    • Environmental Litigation
    • Product Liability
    • Transportation & Accident Reconstruction
    • Construction Defects
    • Failure Analysis
    • Professional Liability
    • Contract Law
    • Catastrophic & Disaster Litigation
    • Real Estate
    View EFI Global's Consulting Profile.
    A case study that illustrates the importance of combining crash data with a thorough analysis in an auto reconstruction investigation.

    This passage from the Book of Leviticus, which reads like an awkward directive from a manual on mold remediation, is an indication that mold has been troubling mankind since Biblical times. Although mold has been an issue for centuries, only in recent years has it grabbed the spotlight. This is due to high-profile lawsuits, such as the Ballard case in Texas, in which a family claimed that mold in their home was the source of their myriad health problems. The Ballards won an initial $32 million judgment against their insurance company, which later was reduced to $4 million.

    11/2/2017 · Construction
    Engineering involvement with property losses demands an open technical mind that can look at the bigger picture, sometimes beyond the scope of work initially requested by the adjuster or insurance company. Engineering law requires the professional engineer to protect "public health, safety, and welfare. "Sometimes specific technical requests are made to a forensic engineering firm that lead to much broader technical involvement in order to ensure compliance with engineering law and the protection of the public. Is it a benefit for an engineer to look at a broader picture when investigating a loss event, even if the scope of work has been specified? Let's examine two examples.

    8/28/2017 · Failure Analysis
    A tornado can cause catastrophic and extensive damage to all types of structures. For some, the damage requires a total rebuild. However, for the homes and buildings that are salvaged after a tornado, a detailed assessment by a qualified structural engineer is needed to determine the extent of structural damage, the repairability of the structure, and to assist with other repair recommendations related to the building envelope and required building code upgrades.

    7/17/2017 · Environment
    The tiny pinhole in the pipe elbow probably took more than twenty years to form and cause a leak, a day or two to be discovered, and less than an hour to be repaired. This recent claim involving corrosion of a pipe elbow on a home heating oil tank resulted in a very minor release of a few gallons of heating oil to the surrounding surface soil. The insured acted appropriately, the release was quickly investigated and repaired. Based on the size of the tank and volume of the release, state regulations did not apply; however, local regulators became concerned over the possibility of impact to shallow groundwater in the area. Although the shallow aquifer was not considered a source of drinking water, it was used extensively for irrigation. Furthermore, the property owner soon began to notice petroleum like odors inside the home/office necessitating relocation for a couple of days. After the repair of the leak, the situation was completely resolved in a few weeks with the excavation and removal of impacted soil from beneath a patio and a portion of the building adjoining the point of release. Fortunately, the release was discovered early, quickly repaired, and the volume of the spill was not sufficient to impact groundwater, which could have easily transported contaminants and associated vapors well beyond the boundaries of the insured's property.

    5/31/2016 · Damages
    Both large-scale catastrophe-induced losses and small-scale single event losses have the potential to impact employees, individuals, insurance personnel, general contracting restoration firms and associated property loss. In addition to the actual water-loss event, secondary losses can become equally as devastating depending on pre-existing and/or event-related building conditions, and the role the insured's take as part of required catastrophe restoration activities. During the water loss event, all project related information and environmental data generated is an integral part of the decision making process that may be disclosed at various stages to inform all the various "parties" involved with the project. All in all, a well-executed restoration project can minimize common delays and expenses of an ill-conceived and managed project.

    Sectors of the construction industry are reporting resurgence and growth in 2013. Single and multi-family housing, commercial, institutional and public works construction is predicted to increase up to 28% in some areas. This is good news for the industry and the economy but the increase in construction activity has historically led to an increase in construction accidents.

    In the course of an arson investigation one of the standard procedures is, when possible, to collect the clothing of arson suspects and have them tested for ignitable liquids. The hypothesis being that if the clothing tests positive for the same ignitable liquids that are found in the fire debris, it is good circumstantial evidence to place the suspect at the scene with an ignitable liquid.

    A growing concern in the insurance sector is soot and smoke damage claims due to wildfires. Some of these fires can affect properties hund reds of miles downwind, causing the potential number of claims to be astronomical. Besides the known risks for respiratory and other health problems, smoke, soot, and char can cause physical damage ranging from settled ash to property damage.

    3/24/2015 · OSHA
    Every year, approximately 3,600 workers are permanently disabled, and on average, one worker per day is killed, as a result of electrical incidents in the workplace.* To prevent these types of electrical injuries and deaths, building owners and managers should apply the safeguards included in NFPA 70E, the standard utilized by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for building electrical assessments. OSHA utilizes the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace to provide improved safety procedures for workers through proper warning labels, restricted access notification, personnel training and personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA compliance will minimize workplace injuries, accidents, illnesses, equipment damage, production losses, and legal costs, which are all avoidable and unnecessary factors in any business.

    10/29/2014 · Fires & Explosions
    The world of fire investigations is always changing and EFI Global is active in its research and testing methods. In an effort to support insura nce, subrogation, loss prevention and litigation relating to losses, EFI Global's chemical laboratories regularly perform chemical analysis on new products to identify potential accelerants and igni tion sources.. Recently, EFI Global laboratories conducted proactive chemical testing on a new matchless fire starter. This commercially available product is marketed and used to start wood and campfires.. The results of EFI Global's testing revealed the limitations and significance if this product is used as an accelerant.

    9/17/2014 · Environment
    Financial institutions require the completion of environmental due diligence of a commercial real estate collateralized lending transaction for many reasons. They may wish to understand the environmental condition of the proposed collateral and ensure a Borrower's compliance with applicable regulations prior to making a loan; to reevaluate the collateral during a renewal or refinance transaction; to determine the collateral's condition at the time of a loan default; or to obtain information about an unexpected environmental condition encountered within the loan term.

    Fire origin and cause investigation, and mold and asbestos testing of a six-story office building

    EFI Global (EFI) was hired by a legal team representing a tire product manufacturer to replicate the use of a tire inflation product in an off-road tire. Litigation was prompted when the tire inflation product was used in an off-road tire that exploded and resulted in a fatality. Our team was asked to evaluate the product when used when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions as written on the products label; when used in concert with pure oxygen, and when used in concert with compressed air.

    2/27/2014 · Damages
    Historically, fires and automobile accidents have been the primary types of property and casualty claims that presented a potential avenues of for subrogation. However, with the increased costs of mitigating the extent of water damage and reducing the potential for mold growth, claims involving large water losses have become another important area with subrogation potential.

    Mechanical ventilation systems have evolved from passive gravity vents (circa 1900) by adding modifications to improve comfort, occupant health, and energy efficiency. Early on, the maintenance of the system basically related to making sure the furnace was on and the windows would open. If you were lucky the school might have draft deflectors on the windows so the wind would not blow directly on your head.

    11/13/2013 · Damages
    Following a hurricane, damages to a residential structure can range from structural distress, to small areas of mold growth to a total loss of the structure. Storm damage can affect multiple components of a structure including the roof, windows, siding, foundation and interior finishes. Wind or water is often the most common cause of damage to residential properties; however, there are many factors to consider when assessing the various causes of damage. Some of the factors include material use, age, condition and construction methods as well as type, location and extent of the damage. It is essential that a professional with hurricane damage assessment experience evaluate these factors to accurately define the cause.

    One sunny spring morning, on a rural road just outside of Houston, Texas, Molly Jackson, a vibrant 16-year-old girl with a bright future and a new driver's license, was behind the wheel of her father's brand new Chevrolet C2500 crew cab pickup truck. At the same time, just seven seconds before she would draw her last breath, Rhonda Simmons, a 46-year old divorced mother of two teenagers, was approaching from the opposite direction in her sleek and sporty Pontiac Trans Am.

    Editor's note: A trend to require more fire safety equipment in residences and nursing homes will reduce deaths and injuries, both among firefighters and the general public, says E. Metts Hardy, vice president/Fire Investigations for EFI Global (, a Kingwood, Texas-based provider of engineering, fire investigation, environmental, accident reconstruction, and laboratory testing services.

    8/21/2013 · Insurance
    Nationwide, water-loss claims continue to climb. In California alone, such claims have risen dramatically, with the percentage of homeowner claims growing from 24 percent in 1997 to 32 percent in 2001, costing insurers $1.7 billion. In a single year in California, between 2000 and 2001, claims rose $47 million. For some insurers, this meant that 40 percent of claim payments were for water losses.

    8/7/2013 · Insurance
    Water damage is costly to both homeowners and insurance companies. It is estimated that the cost of household water damage in California, alone, exceeded $500 million for 2002. While the number of water-related claims varies year to year, the average amount paid for such claims increased steadily from $2,577 in 1988 to $3,646 in 2002.

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    Michael Plunkett, P.E.
    58 Briarwood Dr
    Wakefield, RI 02879
    RI, NH, CT, MA, VT, ME, FL, NY, GA 02879
    phone: (cell) 401-935-6557
    fax: 801-729-0611
  • Over 35 years of experience in Mechanical / Structural Engineering & Design, Failure Analysis, Product Liability, Industural Asbestos,Pressure Vessel & Boiler analysis and evaluation of mechanical and structural components.
  • Extensive trial experience. Has been involved in multi-million dollar cases. Areas involved included:

    - Piping & pipe supports
    - Structural failure of products
    - Failure analysis
    - Industrial asbestos
    - Seismic analysis
    - Fire protection
    - Pressure vessels
    - Tanks
    - Construction
    - Heat transfer analysis
    - Environmental qualification of equipment
    - Welding
    - Product design
    - Patent information
  • Expertise in developing litigation rate-case exhibits and detailed supporting testimony, and in organizing case documentation into easy-to-use computer databases for trial use.
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    Gene Farmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED-AP
    7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd Suite 50-805
    Orlando FL 32819
    phone: 407-751-2620
    fax: 407-751-2619
    Gene Farmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED-AP, is president of Gene Farmer and Associates, Architects and Planners an award winning architecture firm. He has over thirty years of experience in the Design of numerous Residential and Commercial Projects in Florida, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota. His work has been published both locally and nationally and he has received numerous awards including two F.A.M.E. awards and the prestigious Price Waterhouse South Florida Business Journal "Up and Comer Award for 1990."

    Mr. Farmer holds a license to practice architecture in the State of Florida, an N.C.A.R.B. Certification, and a Dade County Sub-Builder Certificate. He is also a certified Florida Building Inspector, a certified Florida Building Plans Examiner, a certified International Code Council ICC Commercial Building Inspector and a certified International Code Council ICC Building Plans Examiner. Mr. Farmer currently holds an OSHA 30 hour certification and has been a certified OSHA 500 instructor.

    Mr. Farmer has served as an Expert Witness in numerous cases ranging from Construction Defects to Construction Claims Analysis.

    Gene Farmer is a Professor Emeritus in the Moss School of Construction, in the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University. His teaching specialties include Principles of Construction Management, Building Construction Materials, Sustainable Construction, Building Codes, Quality Control in Construction, and Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Systems in Buildings.

    In addition to his book entitled Architectural Detailing for Commercial Construction, published by McGraw Hill in 1991, he has a book entitled “A Contractor’s Guide to LEED Certified Construction” which was published in 2013 by Delmar-Cengage.
    Gene Farmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED-AP
    This is the consummate source of LEED information for anyone in or entering the construction industry. Unlike other LEED books that focus on the totality of LEED compliance, this one-of-a-kind resource focuses on the narrower topic of construction-related requirements. It offers detailed explanations of the rational for each construction credit, as well as strategies for achieving LEED compliance. With a clear, logical organization, the book will serve as a valuable constructor reference at the beginning of a project, as well as a useful step-by-step guide through the duration of the project.
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    PO Box 702
    Jefferson City TN 37760
    phone: 865-471-8142
    Roger W. Griffith, P.E. has over 34 years of experience as a registered professional Mechanical Engineer in design, maintenance, and operation of mechanical systems. He specializes in the areas of Plumbing, HVAC, and Fire Sprinkler Systems Design.

    As the principal of Griffith Engineering & Consulting for 17 years, his design experience with commercial and industrial projects includes convention centers, schools, office buildings, condominiums, apartment buildings, hotels, churches, manufacturing facilities, medical buildings, restaurants, historic buildings, dormitories, fire halls, and maintenance facilities.

    Litigation Support - Since 2002, Mr. Griffith has been providing forensic engineering, consulting, and expert witness services that are thorough, credible, and timely. He also assists clients through the mediation and arbitration process.

    Mr. Griffith's expertise is available to plaintiffs and defendants on the issues of plumbing, mechanical, and fire sprinkler system defects and failures. His expert testimony is based upon independent and impartial investigation, research, analysis, and testing. His services include written reports and the preparation of exhibits. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • HVAC Design
    • Plumbing Design
    • Pipe Failures
    • Plumbing Component Failures
    • Sprinkler System Failures
  • Hot Water Systems / Scalding Water
  • Water Heater Failures
  • Gas Venting / Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Fuel Gas Fires and Explosions
  • Legionella
  • View Roger W. Griffith's Consulting Profile.
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    Prof. Makarand (Mark) Hastak, PhD, PE, CCP
    Principal Consultant
    West Lafayette IN 47906
    phone: 765-430-1981
    HCS-Hastak-Consulting Services-logo.Jpg
    Makarand Hastak Construction Engineering Expert PhotoProf. Makarand (Mark) Hastak, PhD, PE, CCP, is the Professor and Head of the Division of Construction Engineering and Management as well as Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University.

    Dr. Hastak has been involved with the construction industry for the past 30 years providing his expertise through consulting, research, teaching, and service to the industry. He is a world renowned expert in the area of construction engineering and management including process improvement, disaster risk reduction, resilience and capacity building, infrastructure management, intelligent planning for the built environment, cost control, project management decision-making, risk management, and strategic planning. Dr. Hastak is a Professional Engineer (PE) and a Certified Cost Professional (CCP).

    Prof. Hastak has worked on numerous projects sponsored by the Construction Industry Institute (CII), NSF, State DOTs, and City Agencies. He has authored over 200 publications on process improvement, project controls, capital rehabilitation planning, strategic planning, and decision-making. He has co-authored a widely used book on Infrastructure Planning, Engineering, and Economics (McGraw-Hill 2006 and 2015). Dr. Hastak served on the Education Board of the Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering (2004-2016). He was Editor for two AACE books, the Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering (6th Ed. 2015) and the CCP Certification Study Guide (2nd Ed. 2016). He was also the Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering (2009-2016).

    Dr. Hastak has given over 35 keynotes and invited lectures around the world. As a prominent educator, he also engages in developing training material and workshops as well as regularly teaching professional courses for the A/E/C industry. His services include consultation, on-site investigation, data collection, assessment, and reporting.

    Dr. Hastak Lectures at the 2015 International Conference on Building Resilience

    Litigation Support - Dr. Hastak offers expert witness services to attorneys representing both plaintiff and defendant. He served as an Expert Witness on two cases in 2017 and was deposed on one. His services include case reviews, written reports, depositions, arbitrations, and trial testimony as needed.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Construction Engineering
    • Construction Management
    • Cost Overruns
    • Schedule Delays
    • Construction Safety
    • Modular Construction
    • Patent Infringement
  • Factory Built Construction
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Data Center Construction
  • Project Risk Management
  • Disaster Recovery / Disaster Mitigation
  • Trade Secret Misappropriation
  • Contracts & Warranties
  • View Dr. Hastak's Consulting Profile.
    Makarand Hastak, PhD, PE, CCP
    Thoroughly revised to address sustainability and the latest codes and regulations, Infrastructure Planning, Engineering and Economics, Second Edition, describes the full range of skills necessary to plan, implement, upgrade, and maintain infrastructure projects in the public sector.
    Makarand Hastak, PhD, PE, CCP
    This edition is designed as a companion workbook to the Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering, 6th Edition (S&K 6). In conjunction with S&K 6, this study guide will assist individuals in their preparation for the CCP Certification examination as well as develop the general knowledge a cost engineering professional is expected to have. This study guide offers insight into the key topics found in each chapter of S&K 6 and provides practice questions and exercises to better develop knowledge in individual areas.
    Makarand Hastak, PhD, PE, CCP
    This Education Board publication provides comprehensive and in-depth information on a wide range of cost engineering subjects and will prove to be a valuable resource to any individual seeking professional growth or pursuing an AACE International certification. This publication offers six sections comprising 34 chapters of content on topics such as cost estimating, project planning, value engineering, and strategic asset management, to name a few.
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    Keith C. Madigan, PE
    100 West Road, Suite 300
    Towson MD 21204
    phone: 410-527-1983
    Keith C. Madigan, PE, is an Engineering and Construction Management expert with over 30 years of experience in the design and construction industry including roles with consultants, contractors, developers, and building owners.

    Mr. Madigan holds the following certifications: CSI-Construction Documents Technologist, ASHRAE-Building Energy Assessment Professional, ASHRAE-Building Commissioning Professional, LEED AP-BD+C, and LEED AP O+M. He is a licensed professional engineer in NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, TX, IL, MI, FL, CT, and CO.

    Mr. Madigan provides engineering, construction, and facility management consulting services for commercial, industrial, and multi-family properties. He is experienced in construction management support, property condition assessments, building envelope evaluations, feasibility studies, forensic investigations and expert witness support, building code consulting, and LEED / green building consulting.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Madigan's forensic and expert witness experience has included deposition and trial testimony for a variety of construction defect, property damage, premises liability, and construction management claims. His services are available to attorneys representing plaintiffs and defendants and include site reviews, preparation of detailed reports, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Construction Defects
    • Building Codes
    • Construction Management
    • Construction Scheduling
    • Construction Disputes
    • Green Building
    • Property Condition Assessments
  • Property Damage
  • Building Envelope / Water Intrusion
  • Construction Standard of Care
  • Construction Safety
  • Construction Forensic Engineering
  • Construction Defect Cause & Origin
  • Building Inspection
  • View Keith C. Madigan's Consulting Profile.
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