Examples of Engineering Expert Witness Cases

Engineering Expert Witness Services

Forensic engineering experts providing answers to the root cause of structural failures, industrial accidents, fire/explosions, and accidents including forklifts, machinery, cranes and other industrial equipment – as well as product liability issues on commercial/ residential equipment.

We support law firms and major insurance companies in State, Federal & International Courts (on both Plaintiff and Defendant cases) – from simple to complex issues. Our work has included interacting with US government agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). As an independent forensic engineering firm, we provide unbiased, comprehensive technical results.

Our experience covers a broad range of industries, materials, and equipment. For a comprehensive list, see Industries Served.

Images above: Forklift Brake Cable/ Scaffold/ Transmission Shaft/ Hunting Bow


Forensic Investigation of Coke Oven Battery
Forensic Investigation - FEA Model of Coke Oven Battery
Forensic Investigation - FEA Results on Coke Oven Battery

We were asked to provide engineering technical expertise in a ($200 M) construction litigation regarding the structural integrity of a coke oven battery. Finite element analysis was used to calculate temperatures, deflections, strains, and stresses to evaluate the long term integrity of the roof and heating walls. The results showed that the battery oven walls would not deflect enough to induce instability. The construction imperfections had no meaningful effect on the structural integrity, robustness, or longevity of the battery.

  • Recent Projects

  • Experience Summary

    For over 30 years, we’ve been performing engineering design & analysis and troubleshooting of equipment in industries including energy, mining and petrochemical.

    We assist in determining whether a component was used improperly (failure to warn), manufactured incorrectly (manufacturing defect), or initially designed improperly (design defect). We’re quite familiar with engineering codes as NFPA, ASTM, AWS, API, ISO, and ASME – as well as AISC and the various Building Codes.

    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. These forensic expert witness services range from local cases to high-profile international matters.

    Our experience has proven to be quite successful in court, providing quantitative results and effective visuals/ animations.

    • Based on accurate engineering models
    • Clarify the root cause
    • Enables judges and juries to easily understand the technical issues
    Not sure what type of expert you need? – give us a call, we may be able to help. To see the various types of technical issues we’ve solved, see Portfolio.

    Examples Include:

    • Consumer
    • Commercial
    • Petrochemical
    • Manufacturing
    • Energy


    • Construction Defect Lawsuits
    • Oil & Gas Accidents and Injuries
    • Scope of Damage from Catastrophic Events
    • Fires and Explosion Origin and Cause
    • Extent of Damage/Repairs
    • Personal Injury Lawsuits
    • Negligence Lawsuits
    • Products Liability Cases
    • Safety/ Workplace Safety
    • OSHA Compliance and Citations

    Read more about our Litigation Experience.

    Producing Results

    The right forensic expert can offer a powerful advantage during litigation – what sets us apart is our multi-disciplinary experience in engineering design, analysis, materials/metallurgy and troubleshooting. When performing forensic analysis, Our Team thoroughly investigates the issues – from taking data at the scene, to analyzing drawings, material specifications, and supporting documentation.

    Our investigations range from the simple to complex. Quite often Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is used to evaluate design, materials and fabrication/ construction defects. Finite Element Analysis has been qualified for use in the aerospace, marine and defense industries – and has passed the Daubert Challenge.

    Give us a call – Let’s talk about your forensic engineering needs.

    Related Links

    >> Tom O’Donnell, PE
    >> Fire/ Explosion Investigations
    >> Safety Evaluation Services
    >> Materials/ Metallurgy Consulting
    >> Industries/ Equipment Applications
    >> Popular Links
    >> Portfolio of Engineering and Legal Cases

    Learn from the experience of others. Especially when one such “other” is Dr. William O’Donnell, PhD, PE, Founder and President of O’Donnell Consulting Engineers, Inc., and ASME “Engineer of the Year” – his 50 years of experience in analysis of components including fatigue and fracture safety evaluations and failure analyses are now comprised in this volume.

    If you are interested learning more in Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Construction, as well as Failure Analysis, then this book is a must have!


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    Handbook of Lessons Learned

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