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. Over 35 years hands-on experience in all construction trades with over 1600 cases since the year 2000. 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
Gates (all types including sliding, parking arm gates)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. C.J. Abraham, P.E. is a Licensed Professional Safety Engineer with over thirty five years of international experience consulting to insurance companies, municipalities, government agencies, and the legal profession. He provides consultation to International corporations in the areas of New Product Development, Manufacturing, Packaging, Warnings and Instructions.
Dr Abraham's services include Expert Witness Testimony for both Plaintiff and Defense in matters involving Personal Injury and Product Liability.
In the United States, the most litigious country in the world, a products liability action may be brought, under state law, for express or implied breach of warranty, misrepresentation and negligence. Under the theory of strict liability, a lawsuit may be initiated on the grounds of manufacturing and design defects as well as poor and inadequate warning instructions. The best defensive strategy for a company to avoid becoming involved in any of the above is to manufacture the safest product possible within parameters of economic feasibility. If said manufacturer can vouch for safety factors in the design, production, testing, inspection and evaluation of its product as well as attentiveness to consumer complaints, it will be more likely to avoid litigation or at least be able to prevail in the courtroom.
Peter J. Sullivan is a World Class Certified ASE Technician and ASE Certified Master Technician in Heavy Duty Truck, Passenger Car / Light Truck, Collision Repair, and Machinist, (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). He has over 35 years of technical, academic, operational, and managerial experience in the private and commercial transportation, heavy equipment, marine, and recreational vehicle industries.
Mr. Sullivan has extensive experience performing vehicle inspections and downloads of event data recorders and electronically stored information (ESI), including analysis, validation, testing, and preservation on almost all makes and models of vehicles and equipment.
Litigation Support - Mr. Sullivan utilizes his comprehensive legal, technical, and FMCSA / DOT knowledge to specialize in:
Product Defect Cases
Driver or Motor Carrier Compliance
Electronic Engine Control (ECM)
Electronic Throttle Control
Electronic Power Steering
He and his team perform accident site and vehicle inspections, perform data downloads, including analysis, on most all makes and models of vehicles and equipment, reconstruct accidents, perform exemplar and product testing, metallurgical testing, fluid analysis, and CMV driver and motor carrier compliance analysis. His primary areas of expertise include medium duty / heavy duty truck, hy-rail, light duty car / truck, motorcycle, ATV, marine, heavy equipment, machinery, tire, bicycle, commercial motor carrier safety and DOT compliance, and commercial motor vehicle driver / operator qualification and compliance, and job site safety.
Mr. Sullivan's services are available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defense. His litigation support services also include expert reports, depositions, and testimony for trial, OSHA, and governmental hearings.
John Chadwick is an AEROSOL TECHNICAL EXPERT with 35 years of Aerosol Industry experience. Mr. Chadwick has designed State of the Art Aerosol Laboratories for Fortune 500 aerosol marketers. He's assisted multiple clients in identifying, analyzing, and resolving product development, manufacturing, and quality related problems.
Mr. Chadwick has also advised Quality Departments of contract packagers on the design and implementation of upgrades to their existing aerosol quality assurance systems, and provided Quality Control Procedures to support the launch of new and improved aerosol products.
Mr. Chadwick has invented new technology, receiving issued and pending Patents in multiple areas of Aerosol Technology including Household Products, Hair Care, Cooking Release Sprays, VOC Reduction, and many more. His broad experience includes the following types of aerosols:
Household Products - oven cleaners, polishes, insecticides, air fresheners, dusters, etc.
Health and Beauty Products (HAB) - hairsprays, deodorants, mousse aerosols
Food Aerosols - PAM cooking spray, whipped cream
Automotive Products - lubricants, solvent sprays, de-greasers, refrigerants, etc.
Medical - foot powder, wound sprays
Litigation Support - John Chadwick has a proven track record of successfully participating as an expert witness in court cases involving Aerosol Products and/or Aerosol Technology. He is available to provide a full spectrum of expert witness services, including technical support for Product Liability case analysis, technical investigations to determine the Root Cause of Aerosol Product Failures, thorough expert reports, depositions, and testimony at trial if needed.
Areas of Expertise:
Aerosol Product Development
Aerosol Propellant Systems
Aerosol Packaging Systems: Valves and Containers / Spray Optimization
Product Scale-up for Manufacturing / Aerosol Product Quality Assurance Systems
Aerosol Laboratory: Operation / Design / Safety System
I have been wandering around the aerosol industry for the last 35+ years both as an employee of major CPG companies, and, for the past 15 years as an independent aerosol technical consultant. While the attention to safety issues has dramatically improved over time, I am still amazed how often the simplest safety precautions are sometimes overlooked when filling aerosols with flammable propellants. I'll save my horror stories for another time, except for one particularly relevant example at the end of this article.
This series, "Aerosol Anatomy," will dissect and examine various technical topics in aerosol technology, including product development, new technology, components of the aerosol system, and quality control.
This article continues the Aerosol Anatomy series, which dissects and examines various technical topics in aerosol technology, including product development, new technology, components of the aerosol system, and quality control of aerosol products.
This is a continuation of the Aerosol Anatomy series, which focuses on dissecting and examining various technical topics in aerosol technology, including product development, new technology, components of the aerosol system, quality control and other related topics of interest to formulators and manufacturers of aerosol products.
Jason S. Kiddy, PhD, PE, CFEI, is a principal at Aither Forensics Engineering, LLC, a forensics consulting firm located in Maryland. Dr. Kiddy spent over 20 years in various industries prior to becoming a full-time expert witness. He has broad industry experience in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from which to draw extensive knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Dr. Kiddy holds eight U.S. and four foreign patents. His work experience includes the following industries:
Oil and Gas - Aircraft and Helicopter Design - Marine Structures - Telecommunications
Dr. Kiddy has expertise in mechanical design, mechanical systems, hydraulics/pneumatics, plumbing / HVAC systems, corrosion, codes and standards, and warnings / instructions. He also has substantial experience in intellectual property matters ranging from invention disclosures, patent prosecution, and continuing through IP disputes. From a product design standpoint, Dr. Kiddy's experience includes all aspects of a product life cycle such as early stage R&D, product development and qualification, manufacturing, quality control, and failure analysis.
Litigation Support - Dr. Kiddy regularly assists both plaintiff and defense parties with extremely competitive rates, timely service, and expert advice. As an expert witness, he has supported dozens of matters including opining on such topics as: product liability, construction defects, industrial equipment, premise maintenance and liability (slips, trips, and falls), and heavy equipment.
Dr. Adam K. Aleksander, PhD, PE, CSP, has over 40 years of experience in the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Human Factors, and Safety Engineering. He combines both academic credentials and active work in industry to provide a grounded perspective in Product Liability, Industrial Incidents, Warnings, and OSHA related issues. He is also a VP of an Energy Services firm, with over 35 overseas assignments related to forensic services, power utility issues, and equipment failures.
Dr. Aleksander has been a practicing engineer since 1972, focusing his Manufacturing, Consulting and Forensic investigations on Problem Definition and Root Cause Analysis of complex problems in confidential issues. His firm has experience encompassing an enormous variety of claims, from large $45 million dollar dam claims, to environmental clean-up claims, to small road construction claims. His litigation services often involve reconstruction, perception reaction studies, warnings, equipment operation, mechanical failures, industrial accidents, skiing, and bicycling injuries.
As an Expert Witness, Dr. Aleksander has worked with many clients, including plaintiff's and defendant's attorneys, both civil and criminal, attorneys representing corporations, corporations in the power utility area, and corporations that produce products. His services are also available to insurance executives with complex claims issues that involve industrial or utility related losses. Dr. Aleksander has been retained over 125 times in a wide range of technical investigations.
Product Liability - Design, Manufacturing and Marketing Defects, Involving Damage, Injury or Fatality
Equipment Failures - Proximal Cause of Failure with Contributing Factors
Human Factors, Visibility, Ergonomics, and General Research Issues - Product Usability, Warnings, Instructions, Perception, Reaction Time, Visibility and Conspicuity Issues
Construction, OSHA, and Safety Engineering - Regulatory and Safety Issues
Alpine Engineering & Design, Inc. has 6 consulting mechanical engineers. We have a total of nearly 100 years of experience designing mechanical equipment. We have been retained on over 600 lawsuits, both intellectual property along with product liability. Our engineers have over 80 U.S. patents on products we have designed.
We have testified regarding patent IPRs, patent infringement/non-infringement, and patent validity/invalidity, product liability, mechanical design, human factors, industrial safety, accident reconstruction, failure analysis, DOT compliance, compliance with OSHA and other standards (i.e. ANSI, ISO ASTM, etc), hydraulic systems. With all of our experience, you will find us a joy to work with.
Our services include a testing and prototype lab, model shop, computer graphics and animations, the ability to create full-size prototypes. There is nothing better than a good model or animation to get our points across. Often we come up with arguments that were not previously considered. We give honest, understandable opinions with the underpinning required to help attorneys, judges, and jurors make good decisions.
Expert Witness Services
Professional Expert Reports
Compliance with Standards
Patent & Patent Related Issues
Provisional Patent Complete with Illustrations
Patent Infringement Review
Powerful Design Tools
Full Service Fabricating Materials
Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Electrical
Structural Integrity Tests
Fred P. Smith, PE, CSP,
I have been retained over 500 times as an expert in intellectual property, and product liability cases where I have testified regarding claim construction, infringement, invalidity, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation. Testified in court over 40 times in multiple state courts, Federal Court, before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the International Trade Commission (ITC). I have over 70 patents on such products with a number of patent applications still pending. Received the Utah Genius Award for being one of Utah’s top inventors.
Directed the development and improvement of a wide variety of products including trucking equipment, refuse equipment, hydraulically operated mobile equipment, cranes, manlifts, specialty axles and suspensions, zip lines, amusement rides, exercise equipment, radiofrequency and magnetically shielded enclosures, rotomolded containers, aerial lifts and a variety of consumer products.
Karl R. Leinsing, MSME, PE, President of ATech Designs, Inc., is a Professional Mechanical Engineer who specializes in Medical Device Product Development from concept to production. Mr. Leinsing has been granted over 34 patents (needle free IV valves, laparoscopic devices, needlescopic devices, suture lockers, catheters, mitral valve repair devices, knitting machines) and excels in solving the most complicated problems and design challenges. His company has a fully equipped medical lab with calibrated measurement and test equipment and all is fully documented with high quality reports with pictures and video to provide credible results and easy to understand compelling data.
The winner of five design awards, Mr. Leinsing is recognized as one of the top 100 medical device professionals in the nation by MD&DI. For dedication to his industry, he was made the 2014 Chairman of the Medical Device and Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim, CA. Mr. Leinsing has also been acknowledged for his work in a publication by Life Magazine. Mr. Leinsing offers litigation support services to the legal community. He has extensive experience with Patent and Product Liability cases including report writing, depositions, and testimony.
Experienced Medical Device Experts can assist with a case in many different ways. First, they have industry knowledge of the medical device industry and can assist with prior art in patent litigation cases for example. They understand the technology and how claim terms are understood for one skilled in the art of medical device design, testing, and manufacturing. This firsthand information can then assist with proper claim construction and infringement analysis. Experience with medical devices product development can also assist in determining what is obvious in the field and what is not as it pertains to patent validation.
Michael Nranian, JD, MBA, MS has over 30 years experience focusing in Product Development, Intellectual Property, Patent Litigation, Legal and Technical Compliance, and Product Liability Litigation. He is a licensed attorney in Michigan, Texas, & the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Nranian is a Six Sigma Black Belt, Professional Engineer, & Certified Project Management Professional. He has an in-depth background and education in Law, IP, Electrical, Chemical & Computer Engineering, & Business. He has testified extensively as an expert witness in depositions, hearings, and trials in state & federal courts.
Mr. Nranian conducts Product and Technology Analysis, Patentability & Prior Art Research,and provides Technology & Litigation Support for Intellectual Property. His litigation background includes patent infringement / non-infringement under literal infringement and the doctrine of equivalents, patent validity / invalidity, prior art, & file-wrapper estoppel, for both ITC and Federal cases, including Inter Partes reviews. He conducts analysis of patents and products, prepares claim charts, & expert witness reports. This includes testimony and document preparation for cases before state, and federal court jurisdictions, and the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Nranian is thoroughly familiar with all 101, 102, 103, 112, and other enablement and prior art arguments. His experience includes Technology Standards Boards and Licensing Authorities, Antitrust / DOJ, Technology Development and Transfer, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights, Licensing, Unfair Competition/Trade, False/Deceptive Advertising, & Lanham Act Actions, & Class Actions.
His Product Liability Expert Witness litigation background includes all types of Safety Systems, Electrical Systems, Fires, Accident Reconstruction, and Evaluation of Alternative Designs for Automotive, Medical and other industries. He has over 29 years of experience in Automotive Safety Systems, Sensors, Seatbelts, Airbags / Curtains, Seats, Diagnostic Systems, Crash Recorders, Crash Pulse Analysis, System Diagnostic, Fault Codes, Structure (including roof-crush and door) and front, side & roll-over systems (including sensing and algorithm development) for domestic and international corporations. He is thoroughly familiar with all regulatory (including FMVSS), and corporate due-care requirements, & preemption arguments, occupant kinematics, & injury causation.
Peter A. Crosby has over 35 years experience in the Medical Devices Industry. He has been the CEO of six medical device companies (public and private) in four countries, and has been a member of the board (including chairman of the board) of over 10 companies.
Mr. Crosby is an accomplished entrepreneur and company builder, and has brought many medical device products to the world market. In 2017, he retired as CEO from Mainstay Medical, after spending over 8 years as the founding CEO, doing several rounds of financing, taking the company public in Europe, and bringing Mainstay’s ReActiv8 to market in Europe. Although he continues to work with the company on a consulting basis, he has shifted his focus to helping other companies grow, as a board member, advisor, and in interim management.
With a university education in Biomedical Engineering, Mr. Crosby is the inventor on over 30 US patents and applications pending. He has managed the intellectual property portfolio of several companies. His clinical domain experience includes ophthalmology, otolaryngology, cardiology, cardiac surgery, orthopedics, pain management, anesthesia, and intensive care.
Litigation Support - Mr. Crosby has served as an expert witness in many cases including product liability, intellectual property (patent disputes), and commercial contracts disputes. He has testified in three cases in which the outcome hinged on interpretation of “commercially reasonable efforts.” Mr. Crosby's services are available to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant.
Imagine this scenario: Early stage company Smallco develops an exciting new technology, which it uses to create the prototype of its first product - Brakethroo! A large company in the same field, Bigco, becomes aware of Brakethroo, and realizes that if the product works as hoped, it could be a valuable addition to Bigco's product range. Bigco offers to buy the technology and product from the shareholders of Smallco. The merger and acquisition (M&A) agreement specifies an up-front payment, and one or more payments dependent on achievement of milestones. Bigco agrees to use "commercially reasonable efforts" to achieve the milestones. Smallco and Bigco sign the agreement, the shareholders of Smallco get an immediate payout and look forward to further milestone payments.
Robert C. Hoffman Jr, PE, CFEI, is a licensed Professional Engineer certified as a Fire and Explosion Investigator. With 30 years of experience, the primary focus of his knowledge is a deep understanding and application of all aspects of Product Safety for the Consumer Goods Industry.
Background Experience: For 27 years, Mr. Hoffman worked with the Whirlpool Corporation in various roles. He served the company as a Drum Sub-System Design/Development Engineer, a Laundry Product Approval Engineer, and Dryer Platform Structures Sub-System Leader and Engineer. His final position with the company before retirement was Principal Engineer, a position he served in for 8 years.
Mr. Hoffman's primary areas of specialization are Heat / Combustion Containment strategies, and Electrical System Design strategies in expected customer abnormal use. His involvement in field investigation evaluations and product liability support allow him to understand how products react in the field and produce both relevance safety tests and design solutions.
Litigation Support: Mr. Hoffman works as an expert witness with clients needing to understand if a product in the field has some type of design or manufacturing defect, as well as clients needing support to defend their product against a potential field hazard allegation. His background in statistics and presentation of data allows him to take complex situations and break the information down into simple, yet accurate assessments of the situation.
Mr. Hoffman's services include product failure mode and effects analysis, root cause investigations, thorough reporting, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.
Donald M. May PhD, CPA, Managing Partner at DMA Economics, LLC, possesses over 30 years of Valuation and Economic Damages experience. He implements a broad range of damage analyses and valuations for clients, including billion-dollar investment funds under SEC investigation as well multi-national firms involved in intellectual property disputes, consumers in product mislabeling cases, and small to mid-sized businesses involved in complex commercial litigation.
Background Experience - Prior to founding DMA Economics LLC, Dr. May was Managing Director at Berkley Research Group and the Principal in charge of valuation and litigation support services for a regional accounting firm, a Managing Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management. He has performed over 200 valuations of closely held businesses across numerous industries for financial reporting and estate planning.
Dr. May has been published in several distinguished academic and practitioner journals such as The Journal of Finance, The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Hedge Fund Law Review, and is currently an editorial board member of The Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis.
Litigation Support - Dr. May is a world class expert in the Valuation of Damages. Dr. May has prepared expert reports and testified in federal and state courts as well as AAA, JAMS, and FINRA arbitration hearings, and has also effectively communicated as an expert witness testifier and consultant in several multi-million dollar cases.
Recent Litigation Matters:
Misrepresentations in Leveraged Buyout (“LBO”) Financing Practices
Theft of Trade Secrets, Trade Dress, and Intellectual Property
Food Product Mislabeling
Securities Fraud Under SEC Section 10b-5 and Section 11
Accounting Misstatements in Public and Private Company Acquisitions
Lost Profits and Lost Enterprise Value Associated with Product Defects and Breach of Contract
This article finds evidence consistent with the hypothesis that managers consider personal risk when making decisions that affect firm risk. I find that Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) with more personal wealth vested in firm equity tend to diversify. CEOs who are specialists at the existing technology tend to buy similar technologies. When specialists have many years vested, they tend to diversify, however. Poor performance in the existing lines of business is associated with movements into new lines of business.
Edward S. George PE, has over 30 years of experience in the field of Product Liability and Failure Analysis.
Mr. George earned his BS and MS degrees from the University of Florida Department of Materials Science and Engineering, graduating with a specialty in metallurgy. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Florida. Mr. George is a member of The National Society of Professional Engineers, The American Welding Society, The National Association of Forensic Engineers, The Florida Engineering Society, American Water Works Association, and The International Society for Fall Protection.
Mr. George has experience in a variety of material failures including Metals, Polymers, Plastics, Composites, Ceramics, Glass, and Porcelain.
Litigation Support - A court-qualified expert, Mr. George has over 13 years of experience and has testified in depositions and trials. His forensic training is complemented by his industrial experience including:
Heat Treating of Metals
Welding and Joining of Materials
Materials Testing and Evaluation
Quality Control and Assurance
Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopic Techniques
Dennis W. Eckstine is an expert on cranes, aerial work platforms, various types of lifting equipment, heavy duty trucks, carriers, and other similiar construction, industrial and agricultural equipment. He has held senior positions in engineering, quality, product safety and reliability for major manufacturers including representing the company at trial.
Through his active involvement in current standards committees, his education, and his engineering and product safety experience at Grove Worldwide, Mr. Eckstine brings a solid scientific and practical background to his clients. He was previously Vice President, Senior Director of Product Safety & Reliability, and Director of Engineering Administration for different major manufacturers. He possesses a BSME and MBA.
Mr. Eckstine started as a full time employee in the construction equipment industry in 1971 for Grove. He is currently a member of numerous committees within the organizations of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering), ISO, and National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. Mr. Eckstine was the founding International Chairman of ISO TC 214 for Elevating Work Platforms. He is currently International Chairman of ISO TC 96 SC 6 for Mobile Cranes, and a Commissioner of CCO.
Expert on construction, industrial and agricultural equipment
Evaluate Product to Promote Safe Design and Safe Use of Equipment
Hazard Analysis, Design Review, Warnings Development, Safety and Operational Training
Offer Guidance on Human Factors
CIE - Certified Industrial Ergonomist
Develop Standards for Design and Safe Use of Products
Develop Training Materials and Perfrom Training for Operators of Lifting Equipment Including Cranes and Aerial Work Platforms
Engel Metallurgical LTD engineers and metallurgists offer laboratory testing services to determine Material Performance and Material Performance Expectation. All tests are performed according to government and/or applicable industrial standards, including ASTM, military, and other specifications.
Engel Metallurgical clients include attorneys, insurance company representatives and members of a broad range of industries, including chemical, agricultural, aviation, power generation, construction, transportation and manufacturing.
Litigation Support - Attorneys requiring reliable information rely on Engel Metallurgical. Les Engel and his team of specialists sort through intricate details of structural and material failures, accidents, manufacturing defects and other unexpected incidents that lead to lawsuits, with involvement from initial discovery through court appearances, if necessary.
In 2003, Engel Metallurgical earned ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). This accreditation officially recognizes Engel Metallurgical proficiency in quality and details, and helps ensure that its findings will carry more weight in clients’ litigation cases.
Engel Metallurgical Ltd. is listed with the Minnesota Association For Justice (formerly Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association) as an expert in the field of metallurgy. Their engineers have extensive experience with deposition and trial. Their high ethical and scientific standards complement our expertise in providing sound, unbiased opinions on technical issues, including:
Inspection: Equipment and Components Inspected on Site
Quality Control Efforts
Product Claims, Product Recalls
Corrosion Resistance Coatings Selection
Non-destructive Testing Procedures
US / Foreign Specifications Equivalents
Material Property Design Limits
Principal, Lester P. Engel, Jr., PE, is a Metallurgical Engineer with over 40 years of experience leading the company's detailed, quality-focused testing and services. He oversees the company's lab, continually adding new equipment and techniques.
Mr. Engel also has experience as the chief metallurgist for Brown Boveri Turbomachinery and as a metallurgical engineer for the Aircraft Engine Group of General Electric, where he focused on material selections for hot aircraft and marine gas turbine components. His GE career began in Nuclear Systems Programs, where his work included serving as the principal investigator on three NASA programs.
Les Engel specializes in materials application, failure analysis, R & D program management, materials and process specifications, engineering standards and procedures, laboratory design and operation, data analysis and personnel, and budget management. He continues to personally perform failure analysis on aircraft and land turbines, generators, boilers, steel products, metals, cermets, plastics, and other materials.
With high ethical and scientific standards, Les Engel offers sound, unbiased expert analysis and testimony on technical issues. He provides expertise to insurance companies and counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant.
James A. Brusso, PhD, PE, has more than 20 years of experience in processing/properties of materials, materials characterization and behavior, materials specifications, mechanical testing, failure analysis, machining of materials, and laboratory design and operation. He is also Engel Metallurgical's Technical Manager and Quality Manager.
Dr. Brusso brings keen expertise to Engel Metallurgical and its clients, performing failure analysis; rendering expert opinions, giving depositions and testimony for litigation support; providing technical support for materials and process development and improvement; and developing and reviewing various product designs, materials, and process details.
Dr. Brusso has worked with Engel Metallurgical since 2000. Prior to that, he held several positions with The Timken Company in Ohio, where his responsibilities included establishing the company’s machinability testing laboratory, team leader for product development projects, managing the company's application metallurgical laboratory, and providing technical review of internal processing and testing standards to satisfy ISO 9000 / QS 9000 registration.