Construction Forensics and Expert Witness
Construction defect litigation is considered by many to be among the most complex type of litigation, especially for the experts involved. Not unlike many other types of litigation, construction cases are often “expert-driven” in determining ultimate liability and damages.
Therefore, retaining a qualified expert witness to perform a forensic investigation and provide testimony is paramount to developing the defense or prosecution of a case. Litigation experts are by definition, independent, and retained to objectively assist the trier of fact in understanding the technical issues at hand. Whereas it is a lawyer’s guarantee to advocate and solely represent the client through developing arguments on their behalf, it is an expert witness’ obligation to maintain objectivity on behalf of the case as a whole. This distinction is critical in understanding the service provided by a litigation expert, and how to both qualify and select an expert whose opinions reflect the client’s objectives.
The expert’s investigation and opinions on a wide variety of technical issues related to design, construction, codes, standards, practices, and contracts can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Experts specializing in forensic investigation and litigation as part of their professional practice develop specific knowledge and skills to develop objective, defensible opinions that may be used in the resolution of a case at mediation, arbitration or trial.
In construction litigation, experts serve as an educator to help develop the investigation and determine what is needed. This would typically include determining which documents to list in discovery requests, witnesses to depose, provide forensic analysis and produce data relevant to the deposition that will withstand the rigors of testimony. The expert is retained for the purpose of assisting the counsel in understanding technical issues concerning: design, materials, codes, standards, practices, testing protocols, investigation, and a plethora other issues. Therefore, relevant experience can often be the most important factor in retaining and qualifying the expert, especially if that expert can convey that expertise in the courtroom. Asking the expert to demonstrate his or her familiarity with the current codes, standards, and best practices at issue in your case are particularly relevant to qualifying the expert.
Structural Technologies – Curriculum Vitae
Structural Technologies, Inc. – Phillip Mahan has been retained as an “Expert Witness” for construction-related defects in multiple cases. Our expertise and knowledge of construction, building materials, contract documents and construction management provide our clients with an objective professional resource. The principal/owner and all employees of Structural Technologies, Inc. regularly attend educational seminars related to the construction industry to evaluate emerging strategies for identifying and reporting construction defects or material deficiencies.
Analysis of Existing Built Environments
Analysis of Existing Built Environments includes the testing of products, documentation of construction and defects, review of applicable building codes and evaluation of applied or installed materials as conforming to material manufacturer requirements and specifications.
Research and Supporting Documentation
As applicable, Structural Technologies will research third-party reference articles, publications, and Industry Standards to support conclusions and field observations indicating defective or non-compliant construction.
Property Forensics & Failure Investigation
Examine elements and components which have failed as a result of improper design, poor workmanship, material substitution or incompatibility of systems. Prepare written, photographic or video documentation of construction defects resulting in system or material failure.
Reporting and Legal Deposition
Preparation of legally defensible written reports including field analysis, third-party testing service results, research documents, supporting articles or publications, Building code references and conclusions derived from the site investigation.
Expert Witness Services
Structural Technologies can be retained to provide Expert Witness testimony in conjunction with construction-related mediation, arbitration or trial. Structural Technologies has industry-recognized credentials, training, and knowledge of construction and materials which has resulted in the successful resolution of numerous construction-related cases.
Structural Technologies’ extensive network of material manufactures, building restoration professionals, as well as industry leaders in building design, has propelled our company to become integrally involved in the building design phase of the construction industry. Created out of necessity to fill a chasm in the industry, this branch of services is offered specifically to assist the professional services sector of the construction industry to aid in the design and development complex building envelope systems.
Catapulted by our established and esteemed reputation within the building restoration industry derived from our capacity to innovate beyond traditional building envelope designs Structural Technologies has been regularly retained companies such as: Ryan Companies, Williams Architects, Wiss, Janney, Elastner (WJE), Dahlguist & Lutzow (DLA) Architects, Teng Architects, Wight & Company Architects, Wold Architects, PHN Architects, RS2 Architects, JAC Architects to aid in project design and development of project specifications in addition to providing project phasing and critical quality control functions.
Why would such large and revered companies opt to retain our services? It’s simple, knowledge is power. Our intangible resources and comprehensive knowledge of material component functional life expectancy and failure derived from a quarter-century of hands-on forensic research collected in the field has made us one of the most accomplished advisories in our industry.
Our expansive assignment to a multitude of all-encompassing restorative efforts has not only educated us as to the complexities of the material sciences but fundamentally changed our perspective as it pertains to building construction. Armed with this invaluable knowledge base, clients who have retained our services for this purpose are able to avoid costly and critical errors and omission that have the long-reaching implications.
We understand that a Company’s image is its most cherished and valuable asset.
At Structural Technologies, we aim to protect our client’s brand through collaborating with our respective partners acting in an advisory capacity to optimize the functionality of the building envelope design while adhering to budget constraints.
This has led to the invention of a multitude of building envelope systems having been successfully adapted and used industry wide.
Our ability to adapt and innovate so that your vision is made a reality is at the forefront of our commitment to you.
We are the men behind the curtain, devoting ourselves to ensuring that the completion of your projects does not come at the expense of tarnishing the image that you have worked so hard to create.
Our competent and personable team not only safeguards your brand reputation, but gives you insurance that your project goals are achieved with the precision and dedication that they demand.
Structural Technologies, Inc. has been retained as a “special consultant” by Dahlquist & Lutzow Architects, Teng Architects, Wight & Company Architects, Wold Architects, PHN Architects, RS2 Architects and JAC Architects to develop specifications and provide site inspection services to verify construction as well as to enforce the project specifications.
Structural Technologies, Inc. does not practice and is not licensed to provide structural engineering services, architectural services or any professional engineering services. Any restoration or replacement work which requires structural modifications, computations for load analysis or design services are performed in accordance with the State of Illinois Structural Engineering and Professional Engineering Licensing Act.
We Maintain Accreditation
Structural Technologies, Inc. was a preferred consultant for State of Illinois Capital Development Projects and developed the plaza deck and TPO roof membrane specifications for the State of Illinois.
The principal / owner and all employees of Structural Technologies, Inc. regularly attend education seminars to maintain accreditation by receiving continuing education units (CEU’s) or American Institute of Architects (AIA) credit hours.