Recently in Engineering Category

Oil and gas expert witnesses spoke before the St. Tammany Parish in Mandeville, LA, regarding a proposed fracking well.  The Department of Natural Resources organized the meeting to discuss the Helis Oil and Gas project. Mark Mitchell, a former oil field worker, accused Helis of not divulging all the facts and stated that fracking was not designed for new wells.

At the request of Congress, the EPA is conducting a study to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water resources. The scope of the research includes the full lifespan of water in hydraulic fracturing. 

Taser Expert Witness Testifies In Ontario Case

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Dr. Dorin Panescu testified as a Taser expert witness in the June 2010 death of Aron Firman. The expert studied the evidence and said that Taser probes were not close enough to Firman’s heart to create ventricular fibrillation and possibly cause a fatal heart attack.  Dr. Panescu serves as the Principal Staff Scientist at St Jude Medical, San Francisco.

Firman's death is the first one in Canada attributed to the use of a Taser.  Ontario's pathologist opined that Firman died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by an officer’s Taser.

Bridges Expert Witnesses & I-5 Collapse

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Bridges expert witnesses may consult on the design, construction and maintenance of highways, streets, and bridges.  The collapse of I-5 over the Skagit River north of Seattle has highlighted the risk of 18,000 “fracture critical” bridges across the country. Real estate attorney Barry B. LePatner says fracture critical bridges are the result of Congress trying to cut corners to save money rather than a lack of engineering capability. LePatner is the author of Too Big to Fall: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward (Foster Publishing in association with University Press of New England, 2010). In it he chronicles the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis which killed 13 people and injured 145.


Aerospace Expert On Boeing 787

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A fuel leak necessitated a Boeing 787 Dreamliner bound for Tokyo to return to the gate at Logan airport Tuesday.  This follows an electrical fire that started on another 787 Monday.  Aerospace expert Richard Aboulafia says “none of this is a showstopper, and none of this should signal this product is fundamentally flawed."  Mr. Aboulafia is Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group and has advised numerous aerospace companies, including most prime and many second- and third-tier contractors in the US, Europe and Asia. He previously analyzed the jet engine market at Jane's Information Group.

Engineering Expert On Deepwater Horizon Report

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To reduce the risk of another accident as catastrophic as the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, a new report from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council says, companies involved in offshore drilling should take a "system safety" approach to anticipating and managing possible dangers at every level of operation -- from ensuring the integrity of wells to designing blowout preventers that function "under all foreseeable conditions."  In addition, an enhanced regulatory approach should combine strong industry safety goals with mandatory oversight at critical points during drilling operations. 

Engineering expert Donald C. Winter, former secretary of the Navy, professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan, and chair of the committee that wrote the report states, "Industry and regulators need to include a factual assessment of all the risks in deepwater drilling operations in their decisions and make the overall safety of the many complex systems involved a top priority."

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Aircraft Expert Witness On Air France Jet

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The Air France jet in the news this week had 30 screws missing from one of its wings when it was grounded in Boston.  An aircraft construction expert said:

The piece itself may not have endangered the flight if it came off.  But there is always the risk that it could have struck and damaged another very important part of the aircraft as it became detached and blew away in flight.

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Engineering Expert Witness Seminar

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The American Society of Safety Engineers is presenting a seminar entitled Providing Expert Witness Testimony.

Seminar Description:
As you progress in your career as a safety and health professional, opportunities may arise for you to act as an expert witness in litigation or as a witness for your own or your company's work. Or perhaps you are thinking about self-employment as an authority for litigation on safety and health matters. This seminar will provide you with a foundation of skills needed to take on the role of an expert witness.

Learn to
* Provide expert witness testimony in accordance with the laws of the U.S. Legal System and its litigation process
* Use the rules of civil procedure and evidence to establish the functional framework for your testimony
* Respond in the role of a safety expert in depositions and at trial
* Conduct the business aspects to support your expert witness services
* More effectively communicate as an expert

Start Date: 2/4/2012, End Date: 2/4/2012 - 1 Day / .7 CEU - 3.5 IH CM Points

Instructor(s): Neil A. Feldscher, CIH, CSP, Esq.
Chief, EHS Compliance, NYC Environmental Protection, Bureau of Engineering Design & Construction, EHS Compliance Directorate, Corona, NY

Product Liability Expert To Testify In GE Case

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Product liability expert Peter Chen will testify for Joseph and Nancy Bertrand in  a Massachusetts lawsuit against General Electric.  Federal judge Judge Richard Stearns has allowed  the Bertrands to sue General Electric over a stove they claim one of their cats turned on.  The resulting fire destroyed their house. 

Engineering Expert To Investigate Underground Explosions

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The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is a regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in the state. The NJBPU voted recently to have Jersey Central Power & Light appoint an engineering expert to investigate the underground explosions that have occurred in Morristown.  There have been a series of events including a manhole cover that blew 30 feet in the air.

Engineering Expert & Chicago Copper Smelter

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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a complaint against H. Kramer & Co. over dangerous levels of lead emissions from its copper smelter in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.  On Friday Madigan obtained an agreed preliminary injunction order against the company, requiring it to immediately reduce lead emissions from its plant and conduct a ventilation study by an outside engineering expert.


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