Our expert witness litigation experience spans over 40 years, providing engineering expert witness testimony in US and International industrial disputes. This work has involved equipment failures, fire/explosions, construction accidents, personal injury and product liability issues.

The complexities of industrial equipment, including furnaces and process heaters, has necessitated the use of finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. We have used it effectively in State, Federal and International Courts, Mediations and Arbitrations.

The following is a short list of our cases:

  1. $98 M awarded to OCE’s client, in trial over dispute on Heat Treating of Vessels in place and ASME Code requirements.
  2. $7.1 M awarded to OCE’s client, at bench trial covering design errors.
  3. $2 M awarded to OCE’s client, for failure of a quick opening closure, causing an explosion at a gas storage facility.
  4. OCE’s analyses demonstrated that construction imperfections did not reduce the structural integrity or life of the $120 million coke oven battery.
  5. OCE’s analyses successfully defended our client in Federal Court against inspection errors showing that a tank leak was caused by torch burn-through during repairs by the Plaintiff subsequent to our client’s inspections.
  6. OCE’s analyses of alleged design and fabrication errors at a newly constructed integrated steelmaking facility/coke plant in Brazil resulted in the resolution of a (US) $560 M dispute before an International Chamber of Commerce Binding Arbitration in Paris.
  7. OCE represented a Belgian company in litigation in the UK (Queen’s Court) resulting from component failure and resulting Blast Furnace damage. A Blast Furnace is the main part of an Iron Reduction Process; it is the older and more prevalent system for steelmaking as compared to the Direct Iron Reduction (DIR) process. OCE’s analyses included CFD for hot gas flow and coal combustion modelling in the failed blowpipe, and FEA for thermal effects on refractory lining.
  8. Five fatalities and 34 injuries were initially blamed on a valve company since their safety relief valve did not function when tested both operationally and destructively. OCE’s FEA analyses demonstrated that the boiler pressure containment plate in a 1910 steam-powered farm tractor failed at less than 50% of the set pressure on the safety relief valve due to long-time vibrations and corrosion, exonerating our client.


Give us a call to discuss your engineering challenges.

Relevant Links:

Tom O’Donnell, PE
Our Engineering Team
Forensic/ Expert Witness Services
Industries/Equipment Applications
Portfolio of Engineering & Forensic Cases

(412) 835-5007

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