Expert Witness Litigation Experience

Mural of Expert Witness / Forensic Cases
Mural of Expert Witness / Forensic Cases

This is one of a number of murals we have here that depict our various engineering and legal cases.

Whether it’s a statue base, a compound bow, a pressure vessel or an industrial turbine – our experience includes materials, metallurgy, fabrication practices and finite element analysis – offering comprehensive, accurate results.

Forensic Engineering / Expert Witness Litigation Experience

Our expert witness litigation experience spans over 30 years – providing engineering support in US and International disputes. This work has involved equipment failures, fire / explosions, construction accidents, personal injury and product liability issues.

The complexities of modern equipment 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 over Heat Treating of Vessels and ASME Code requirements.
  2. $2 M awarded to OCE’s client, for failure of a quick opening closure, which had caused an explosion at a gas storage facility.
  3. Investigated the cause of malfunctioning electronic throttle control system in a Toyota Corolla subjected to recall for related issues.
  4. Investigated faulty design of the seatbelt and door locking mechanism in a Freightliner tanker truck resulting in a fatal accident.
  5. OCE investigated materials and construction details on a $120 million coke oven battery. Our analyses demonstrated that construction imperfections did not reduce its structural integrity or life.
  6. OCE 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Five fatalities and 34 injuries were initially blamed on a valve company since their safety relief valve did not function when tested. 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.

Relevant Links:

Tom O’Donnell, PE
Forensic/ Expert Witness Services
Industries/Equipment Applications
Portfolio of Engineering & Forensic Cases
– American Lawyer Media Top 100 Verdict Awards of 2006 and 2007 (PDFs)

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