January 31, 2010

Software Development Expert Witness & $600M Google Case

Michael Dean and Lucinda Stone, owners of Function Media, claim Google products infringe their '025 and '059 patents. The patents involve taking raw data and automatically formatting customized advertisements to be published on Web sites. Function Media is seeking $600 million in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is 12 percent of royalties from Googles' AdSense for Content program. Function Media claims that it is their technology Google is using to create and publish customized advertisement on sites.

Software development expert witness Mark Lanning testified that he did not believe Google is guilty of infringement while Ms. Stone said she discovered similarities in Function Media and Google's programs while using Google's AdSense to publish ads on her own Web site in 2004. According to Google's AdSense for content Web site, the free program allows Web site publishers to display relevant Google ads on their content pages and earn money from valid clicks or impressions. Google reportedly generated more $5 billion in revenue from the program.

For more, see marshallnewsmessenger.com.

January 30, 2010

Aviation Training Expert Witness On Certification

On his website, aviation training expert witness John Ogle, MD, MPH, FACEP, provides links to the Code of Federal Regulations - Part 61 regarding certification of pilots and instructors. Sections include:

# § 61.3 Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations.
# § 61.4 Qualification and approval of flight simulators and flight training devices.
# § 61.5 Certificates and ratings issued under this part.

CFR Title 14: Aeronautics and Space

January 29, 2010

Aviation Safety Expert Witness On Aviation Medical Examiners

On his website, aviation safety expert witness John Ogle, MD, MPH, FACEP, answers frequently asked questions about being an aviation medical examiner:

What is an Aviation Medical Examiner and how does one become designated?

Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (as amended), the FAA Administrator is authorized to delegate to qualified private physicians the conduct of medical examinations and the issuance of medical certificates to qualified applicants. Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are private physicians, trained and authorized by the FAA to perform airman medical examinations, and to issue medical certificates. New AMEs are designated based upon the local demand for aeromedcial certification services.

Demand is determined by considering the total number of airmen in a particular location in relation to the number of available AMEs. The FAA has approximately 4,800 civilian AME's located in 9 regions, 410 international AMEs located in 91 countries, and 400 federal AMEs (military, U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, and other agencies). These AMEs perform approximately 450,000 medical examinations every year in fulfilling the aeromedical certification needs of about 17,000 air traffic controllers and 640,000 pilots in the U.S and abroad.

January 28, 2010

Information Technology Expert Witness Testifies In Google Patent Case

Information technology expert witness Mark Lanning testified Monday for Google in the case of Function Media versus Google. Michael Dean and Lucinda Stone, owners of Function Media, claim the Google products infringe their '025 and '059 patents. The patents involve taking raw data and automatically formatting customized advertisements to be published on Web sites.

During his testimony in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Lanning said he did not believe Google is guilty of infringement for a few reasons:

Google does not permit advertisers to input information to create an electronic advertisement customized to selected "Internet media venue's presentation rules." Presentation rules refer to the color, layout and content of a site.

Google does not publish advertisements to Internet media venues. It sends it directly to users.

Google does not allow advertisers to input information to selected Internet media venues and does not display advertisements on each selected Internet media venue.

For more, see marshallnewsmessenger.com.

January 27, 2010

Aviation Expert Witness On Pilot Medical History Part 1

On his website, aviation expert witness John Ogle, MD, MPH, FACEP, lists FAA medical questions regarding a pilot applicant's medical history and information on how the FAA considers any problems with respect to flight safety. Here are 1-12.

Medical History
1. Frequent or severe headaches (More...)
2. Dizziness or fainting spells (More...)
3. Unconsciousness for any reason (More...)
4. Eye or vision trouble except glasses (More...)
5. Hay fever or allergy (More...)
6. Asthma or lung disease (More...)
7. Heart or vascular trouble (More...)
8. High or low blood pressure (More...)
9. Stomach, liver, or intestinal trouble (More...)
10. Kidney stone or blood in urine (More...)
11. Diabetes (More...)
12. Neurological disorders; epilepsy, seizures, stroke, paralysis, etc. (More...)

January 26, 2010

Former Bear Stearns Lawyer to Testify As Securities Expert Witness

Bear Stearns former lawyer Raymond Aronson is to testify as a securities expert witness against Bear Stearns. The bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods is suing Bear over allegedly overpriced bonds Bear hedge funds sold nearly three years ago. Keefe hired Aronson, who is currently with Sutter Securities Group, Inc., to testify as an expert witness on legal and industry practices related to prime brokerage and clearing transactions in the pending arbitration case. Aronson worked 29 years for Bears Stearns until 2004.

For more, see www.businessinsider.com.

January 25, 2010

Pediatric Urology Expert Witness Testifies In Faith Healing Trial

The obvious signs of Neil Beagley's failing health gave his parents ample warning that the teenager needed immediate medical treatment, a doctor testified Friday. Pediatric urology expert witness Dr. Edward Guillery, who specializes in childhood kidney disease, said that a record of the boy's food consumption clearly signaled his decline. "The fact that there was (a record) is what really caught my attention," Guillery said. Food journals "usually reflect a significant concern that something is wrong."

The boy's parents, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, are charged with criminally negligent homicide for failing to provide medical care for Neil, who died in June 2008. The family belong to Followers of Christ, an Oregon City church that generally relies on faith-healing rather than doctors and medicine.

For more, see oregonlive.com.

January 24, 2010

Franchise Valuation Expert Witness & Dunkin' Donuts Case

Providence, RI, Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald R. Lagueux on Wednesday gave his oral judgment in favor of Dunkin' Donuts defendants and adverse to Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Irwin Barkan. Dismissing the jury on the seventh day of trial, he also granted Dunkin defendants’ oral motion to preclude the testimony of Barkan’s franchise valuation expert witness, Frank Torchio. Barkan has been fighting in court against the franchisor for five years after losing his six stores and his store development agreements to open new franchises. He claimed that Dunkin’ intentionally blocked his efforts to refinance his stores through CIT, even though Dunkin’ had agreed to the financial restructuring of his company.

Barkan asserts that Dunkin’s interference of the refinancing process forced him into bankruptcy with his stores, and that it was an intentional act by Dunkin’ to eliminate him from the system.The expert witness was to give evidence that Barkan would have made $13 million if he had received the refinancing and continued to open his additional stores. In recent years, Dunkin’ Brands has been accused of hardball tactics in terminating smaller franchisees, under the guise that they have breached their contracts. Franchise operators have alleged that they then sell the stores to large multi-unit operators of Dunkin’s choosing.

For more, see bluemaumau.org.

January 23, 2010

Wireless Communications Expert Witness & Faked Kidnapping Case

Wireless communications expert witness and FBI Special Agent William Shute recently worked on the case of Bonnie Sweeten, a Bucks County mother who faked a carjacking-kidnapping in May and two days later was taken into custody at Disney World with her nine-year-old daughter.

Sweeten had told emergency dispatchers that she and her daughter were snatched in the middle of the day Tuesday by two men who rear-ended her SUV in suburban Philadelphia. He said Philadelphia police contacted the expert witness within five minutes after they had received the 911 call from Sweeten reporting she and her daughter had been carjacked. Using his expertise on cell towers, "we knew within an hour that she was lying" because the call bounced off a cell tower some 16 miles away from where she said she was, said Shute.

For more, see phillyburbs.com.

January 22, 2010

Water Engineering Expert Witness Testifies At Proposed Nuclear Plant Hearing

Blue Castle Holdings Inc., owner of the Blue Castle Project, presented testimony by expert witnesses at the hearing conducted by the State Water Engineer on the benefits and minimal impacts to Green River Basin of the use of 53,600 acre feet of water for the proposed nuclear power project in Utah. The hearing is one of the last steps for gaining the needed state approval to divert and use the water for the project.

Water engineering expert witness and former Utah State Water Engineer Jerry Olds provided data and testimony to demonstrate sufficient unappropriated water exists in the Green River to use at the proposed power plant. Olds stated, "This is a very favorable location for the use of this water; it will not impair other users' water rights."

For more, see earthtimes.org.

January 21, 2010

Forensic Psychology Expert Witnesses & Death Of Three Police Officers

The date of the trial has yet to be determined in the case of Richard Poplawski, 23, accused of fatally shooting three Pittsburg police officers. Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning decided Wednesday that jurors should come from another county, citing "pervasive, prejudicial pretrial publicity" surrounding the case.

Manning said he'll schedule a trial date at a March 22 pretrial conference and wants Poplawski's public defender, Lisa Middleman, to decide whether she'll pursue an insanity defense by that time. Middleman told the judge that forensic psychology expert witnesses need more time to review evidence and that she would "absolutely be unprepared in March to give notice" of an insanity defense. "That's not enough time for a responsible expert to review all the materials and render an opinion," she said. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court must select the county from which jurors will be bused to Pittsburgh for the trial.

For more, see ldnews.com.

January 20, 2010

Hydrology Expert Witness On Uranium Superfund Site

A public hearing was held last week on Homestake Mining Company's discharge permit with modification at the Cibola County, NM, Complex. The Homestake reclamation project is a Superfund Site cleanup site which involves a 25-million ton uranium waste pile. Homestake Project Manager Al Cox says he has been waiting for re-approval of the existing permit for several years and is now requesting a third pond, EP3, to speed up the process of reclamation. “We've lost time [without the third pond],” said George Hoffman, a hydrology expert witness for HMC. “We've been unable to maximize the process being used for cleanup.”

Expert witness
Chris Shuey of the Southwest Research Center questioned the success of the current Homestake Mining Company’s reclamation project’s success.

For more, see cibolabeacon.com.

January 19, 2010

Computer Expert Witness Testifies In BonusGate

Seven former staffers from the House Democratic caucus have pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's three-year government corruption investigation that has become known as Bonusgate. Former State Rep. Michael Veon is scheduled to go on trial for similar charges on January 19th. The defendants conspired "to pay bonuses of legislative funds -- taxpayer money -- to legislative employees for political campaign work," prosecutor James Reeder told Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Lewis.

The guilty pleas come from staffers who held critical posts, including Veon's former chief of staff, Rep. Bill DeWeese's former chief of staff, and the former director of the Democratic Legislative Research Office. Computer forensics expert witness Gregory Kelley gave crucial testimony regarding e-mail message evidence in the case.

Pittsburgh defense attorney Joel Sansone argued to exclude the messages because they were obtained from state Rep. Bill DeWeese, who they claim was a co-conspirator and had the opportunity to exclude messages that might implicate himself or clear others. He also would have had the opportunity to alter messages.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com.

January 18, 2010

Communications Expert Witness On Cell Phone Evidence

Cell phones previously linked to two of the three suspects on trial for the January 2009 murder of a Montgomery Township, PA, man were used in the vicinity of the slaying and at the approximate time of the killing, according to an FBI agent. Citing cell phone records reflecting the cell towers that carried the calls, communications expert witness and FBI Special Agent William Shute Friday testified that these phones were used in the Philadelphia area where the defendants lived up until about 4 a.m. on Jan. 9. Calls made from these phones then were recorded using two cell towers nearest to the residence of 58-year-old Robert Chae of Gwynmont Drive, the expert witness testified.

In earlier testimony, the cell phone numbers tracked by Shute in his report were for phones reportedly used by Joseph Page, 23, and Amatadi Latham, 26. Page, Latham and Pitts are on trial on second- and third-degree murder charges stemming from Robert Chae's suffocation death and the subsequent robbery of his home shortly after 5 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2009.

For more, see phillyburbs.com.

January 17, 2010

Semantics Expert Witness On Product Warnings

In The Goldhaber Warnings Report, semantics expert witness Dr. Gerald M. Goldhaber writes on how to design a product warning:

3. If the hazards exist and are unknown or hidden to the user, how can we best communicate with or warn the user about these hazards, their consequences and how to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to these consequences? Although we will devote several future issues to this question, for now, it is important to understand that an effective warning must be seen, read and understood so that the user can decide how to proceed safely and avoid injury from product use. Most warnings should, in a clear, conspicuous manner, communicate the following information:
a. A clear statement of the hazard(s) and danger(s) that the user is likely to confront at the time of use.
b. Specific consequences that are likely to occur as a result of exposure to the hazard(s) and danger(s).
c. Specific instructions or steps to help reduce the likelihood of exposure to the hazard(s) and danger(s)
d. An appropriate signal word (e.g., Danger, Warning, Caution) that informs the user both of the level of severity of the hazard(s) and how immediate the consequences are likely to occur.

January 16, 2010

Mergers Expert Witness On Cash Flow

In Cash Flow: The Life Blood of Business mergers expert witness Steve Rabin writes:

Cash is essential to the success of any business. Cash is the "life blood" that keeps a business operating. If cash drys up, the business fails. Understanding your business' cash flow is a key managerial skill.

Failure to properly plan cash flow is one of the leading causes of small business failures. Understanding the basics will help you better manage your cash flow. Cash flow considerations become even more important as the economy struggles and businesses need to tighten all financial controls.

Your business' monetary supply can exist either as cash on hand or in a business checking account available to meet expenses. A sufficient cash flow covers your business by meeting obligations (i.e., paying bills), serving as a cushion in case of emergencies, and providing investment capital.

January 16, 2010

Communication Analysis Expert Witness On Product Warnings

In The Goldhaber Warnings Report, communication analysis expert witness Dr. Gerald M. Goldhaber writes on how to design a product warning:

2. Who is the likely user of our products that may be hazardous at the time of use? A meeting among marketing personnel should be held, during which they consult any available market research and demographic studies to identify and profile the likely or typical user of the product(s). Warnings are a form of communication and, as with any communication, should be designed with the intended audience in mind. A review of all sales, promotional and safety literature related to the product, including manuals, current labels, brochures, the company web site, advertisements, packaging, videotapes or DVD’s of ads, as well as any in-house documents
(memos, minutes of meetings, studies, etc.) related to the design, development and evaluation of warnings should occur.

January 16, 2010

Linguistics Expert Witness On Product Warnings

In The Goldhaber Warnings Report, linguistics expert witness Dr. Gerald M. Goldhaber writes on how to design a product warning:

1. What hazard(s), risks and dangers that are known or likely to be known to us (the manufacturer) exist or are likely to exist with the use of our product(s)? A meeting among the key engineers who have designed the product and the marketing personnel who must sell the product (and any other relevant personnel, e.g., industrial hygienists, lawyers, etc.) should be held to discuss the details of:
a. How can an individual get hurt at the time they use the product?
b. If there is a medical or scientific literature about the product’s potential hazards, what are the conclusions?
c. If there is a documented history of injury, complaints or legal claims associated with this product’s use, what are the conclusions from this history of use?
d. How severe is the injury likely to be?
e. How likely is the injury to occur (risk)?
f. Are these hazards likely to be hidden or open and obvious to the likely user? (e.g., knives typically have no warnings because their hazards are well known to most people.)

January 16, 2010

Pollution Expert Witnesses & Illinois River Watershed Case

A federal judge on Thursday set closing arguments for Feb. 11 in the state’s lawsuit involving the poultry industry’s alleged role in polluting the Illinois River watershed. U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell, who is presiding over the trial, which began Sept. 24 in Tulsa, gave the parties until Feb. 5 to submit proposed written findings to the court. The state’s lawsuit against the poultry industry, filed in 2005, alleges that poultry companies are legally responsible for the handling and disposal of poultry waste — also known as litter — that the state says has damaged portions of the Illinois River watershed.

Attorneys representing the poultry industry rested their case Wednesday, but trial testimony is not quite over. On Thursday, Frizzell granted the state’s request to allow rebuttal testimony by a pair of pollution expert witnesses. The court scheduled that to take place Jan. 25-26.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com.

January 15, 2010

Marriage Expert Witnesses & California Marriage Protection Act.

Two McGill University faculty members may be called to testify as expert witnesses in a landmark California Supreme Court case that will determine whether California’s current prohibition on equal marriage is unconstitutional. The case, which began last Monday, will challenge Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. The legislation reinstated a ban on equal marriage in the state when it was approved by 52.3 per cent of California voters in November 2008.

A plaintiff’s witness list includes marriage expert witness Katherine Young, a professor in the McGill Faculty of Religious Studies, who “purports to be knowledgeable in comparative religion and on what universally constitutes marriage.” Paul Nathanson, a researcher in the same faculty, is also included on the list and is described as someone who “purports to be knowledgeable about religious attitudes toward Proposition 8.”

For more, see mcgilldaily.com.

January 14, 2010

Aviation Safety Expert Witness On Civil Aviation Safety

In the Guidebook for Airport Safety Management Systems aviation safety expert witness Mac McCall, A.A.E, writes:

The International Civil Aviation Organization, recognizing these facts and that “the public’s perception of aviation safety is largely based on the number of aircraft accidents rather than the accident rate,” issued a resolution to “reduce the numbers of accidents and fatalities irrespective of the volumes of air traffic.” The ICAO further provides guidance on how to achieve this resolution, including the recommendation to “develop a civil aviation safety management framework and recommendations for improving safety.”

In recent years a great deal of effort has been devoted to understanding how accidents happen. It is generally accepted that most accidents result from human error. It would be easy to conclude that these human errors indicate carelessness or lack of skills on the job, but such a statement is not accurate. Accident investigators are finding that the human error is only the last link in a chain that leads to an accident. Accidents cannot be prevented by changing people; they can be prevented only when we address the underlying causal factors.

Source:
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
International Safety Research, Inc.
Mac McCall Airport and Aviation Consultants

January 13, 2010

Aviation Accident Analysis Expert Witness On Safety Efficiency

In the Guidebook for Airport Safety Management Systems aviation accident analysis expert witness Mac McCall, A.A.E, writes:

There are two ways of thinking about safety. The traditional way is that safety has been about avoiding costs. In this sense, many aviation organizations have been bankrupted by the cost of a single major accident. This makes a strong case for safety, but the cost of occurrences is only part of the story. Efficiency is the second way of thinking about safety. Research has shown that safety and efficiency are positively linked. Safety pays off in reduced losses, enhanced productivity, and lower insurance costs. In 2006, the Port of Seattle opened a ramp tower to assist with ramp operations and improve safety and efficiency. The Port’s insurance company agreed that the liability had been reduced due to the ramp tower and lowered the insurance costs. This is an excellent example of how safety, efficiency and costs are linked.

Source:
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
International Safety Research, Inc.
Mac McCall Airport and Aviation Consultants

January 13, 2010

Building Distress Expert Witnesses On Life Expectancy of Housing Components

Building distress expert witnesses may opine on issues relating to the National Association of Home Builders/Bank of America Home Equity Study of Life Expectancy of Housing Components

U.S. HOUSING STOCK:
The 2005 American Housing Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are more than 124 million homes in the housing stock, with a median age of 32 years. About one-third of the housing stock was built in 1960 or earlier. About 10 percent was built in the 1960s, and another 20 percent was built in the 1970s. Of the remainder, 13 percent was built in the 1980s, another 13 percent was built in the 1990s, and 8 percent in the first years of the 21st century. Of the total stock of 124.3 million housing units, about 109 million are occupied housing units, 11.6 million are vacant and about 4 million are seasonal. Two-thirds of all units in the nation’s housing stock are single-family detached or attached, 8 percent are in buildings with 2 to 4 units, and about 17 percent are in buildings with 5 or more units. The remaining 7 percent of the stock is in HUD-code homes. About 18 percent of the occupied housing stock is in the Northeast, 23 percent is in the Midwest, 37 percent is in the South, and 21 percent is in the West.

January 13, 2010

Building Envelope Performance Expert Witnesses & Siding

Building envelope performance expert witnesses may opine on issues relating to the National Association of Home Builders/Bank of America Home Equity Study of Life Expectancy of Housing Components

Siding and Accessories

Outside materials typically last a lifetime. Brick, vinyl, engineered wood, stone (both natural and manufactured), and fiber cement will last as long the house exists. Exterior wood shutters are expected to last 20 years, depending on weather conditions. Gutters have a life expectancy of more than 50 years if made of copper and for 20 years if made of aluminum. Copper downspouts last 100 years or more, while aluminum ones will last 30 years.

January 12, 2010

Structural Failures Experts On the Life Expectancy Of Home Components

Structural failures experts may opine on the National Association of Home Builders & Bank of America Home Equity Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components:

How many years of service can a home owner reasonably expect from the various components of a home? An NAHB study sponsored by Bank of America Home Equity takes some of the mystery out of the subject.

The life expectancies of the components of a home depend on the quality of installation, the level of maintenance, weather and climate conditions, and the intensity of use. Some components may remain functional but become obsolete due to changing styles and preferences or improvements in newer products while others may have a short life expectancy due to intensive use. The average life expectancy for some components has increased during the past 35 years because of new products and the introduction of new technologies, while the average life of others has declined. NAHB’s last such study on the life expectancy of housing components was published in Housing Economics in August 1993.

January 12, 2010

Aviation Expert Witness On Airport Safety Management

In the Guidebook for Airport Safety Management Systems aviation expert witness Mac McCall, A.A.E, writes:

The aviation industry always has quoted safety at the forefront of its priorities, and as a general rule, has demonstrated diligence in learning from its mistakes and implementing changes that lead to further improvement. This somewhat reactive approach produced a steady decline in accident rates until the mid-1980s. Since then, the fatal accident rate in air transport operations has remained fairly stable, despite a growth in traffic during the same period. This trend implies little improvement in safety on the operation/accident ratio and suggests that as traffic grows, the total number of accidents also will grow.

Source:
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
International Safety Research, Inc.
Mac McCall Airport and Aviation Consultants

January 11, 2010

Building Regulations Expert Witnesses & The NAHB

Building regulations expert witnesses at the The National Association of Home Builders work with other organizations to develop and revise building codes and standards that affect single and multifamily housing, commercial buildings, and remodeling in the areas of structural, fire, energy, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, and accessibility. NAHB studies proposed changes to decide whether they improve quality at a cost that's affordable to first-time home buyers and supports those that increase value to the consumer.

For more, see www.nhb.org.

January 11, 2010

International Building Code Expert Witness Trade Show

For the International Building Code expert witness:

The International Builders' Show (IBS), January 19, 2010, Las Vegas, is the largest annual building industry trade show in the country. Billed as "THE place to see and discuss the hottest products on the market and network with your friends and allies," IBS offers more than 175 education sessions taught by industry experts.

You can attend the show and not be a member of NAHB; however, NAHB members are eligible for discounted registration fees. The International Builders' Show is the largest annual light construction show in the world with attendees coming from over 70 countries. Show organizers state "We are proud to be one of the US trade shows to be chosen by the US Department of Commerce to participate in the International Buyer Program."

For more, see http://www.buildersshow.com/Home/Page.aspx?pageID=1.

January 10, 2010

Building Codes Expert On Minimum Safety Levels

Building codes expert Dr. S. Shyam Sunder, acting director, building and fire research laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), says providing minimum safety levels in buildings is one of the NIST goals. "We shouldn't stop at one set of elements, but look at system-wide building safety as a whole, which has not been consistently and thoroughly done in codes. We need to ensure safety and system robustness, regardless of the threat," he observes. The lead World Trade Center investigator says this includes minimum robustness and structural integrity in all structures for various threats, hazards, and events that may occur in the normal course of the 100-year life of a building rather than designing against a specific threat, such as blast.

For more, see http://www.buildings.com/Default.aspx and http://wtc.nist.gov/.

January 9, 2010

Accident Investigation Expert Witness On ASTM Standards

In Procedures for Evaluating Bathing Facility Slip and Fall Accidents, accident investigation expert witness Melvin M. Friedlander, P.E. writes:
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for evaluating the slip resistance of walkway and bathing facility surfaces are accepted, almost universally, by experienced and reliable slip and fall experts in the United States. The protocol for testing bathing facility surfaces is contained in ASTM Designation F 462 that is entitled “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Slip-Resistant Bathing Facilities” [1].

This standard was published in 1976 by ASTM Task Group 15.03 and was developed specifically for wet, soapy bathing surfaces consisting of either combined bathtub/shower or shower stalls alone and for a test material that resembles the texture of the bottom of the human foot as closely as possible. The standard is based on test results from 50 different bathtub and shower surfaces with such surface materials as porcelain enamel, acrylic, terrazzo, ceramic tile, synthetic castable marble, sheet molding compound, pressed steel, cast iron, and fiber glass reinforced plastic.

January 8, 2010

Architecture Expert Witness In Ohio $3.8 M Damages Case Part 2

Licking County, OH, Common Pleas Judge Thomas M. Marcelain has ordered the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County (C-TEC) to pay $3.8 million in damages for uncompensated work to Claggett & Sons Inc., the General Trades Contractor on a $30 million school addition and renovation. In the Judge’s ruling both sides were ordered back into court to address punitive damages and attorney fees, costs that could push the cash-strapped center’s bill even higher. Claggett attorneys also intend to seek interest for the company's damages accrued since 2006.

The 27-page opinion includes numerous examples of where architect Kimball and Associates, of Pittsburgh, made major mistakes, did not act in good faith and “misled them,” including keeping “facts” from C-TEC’s construction manager, a maintenance director with no construction experience.

"The architect took advantage of the lack of knowledge of C-TEC in construction methods," Marcelain wrote as he described problems such as ventilation pipes designed to go through a steel beam near the roof. The judge wrote that C-TEC's witnesses, especially its architects, were not credible and that Claggett demonstrated construction delays were not its fault. He also noted board members were not aware the project was 90 percent complete and the school largely occupied when they voted to terminate Claggett.

Claggett’s legal team was supported by Robson Forensic, Inc. including testimony from Mark E. Williams, AIA, NCARB an architect expert witness. Marcelain’s judgment entry may be downloaded from: http://www.newarkadvocate.com/assets/pdf/BF1490241224.PDF

For more, see newarkadvocate.com.

January 7, 2010

B of A Can't Use Finance Expert Witnesses Media Reports

Bank of America Corp. received a blow from U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff in their civil trial with the SEC, as Rakoff granted a request from the SEC to forbid finance expert witnesses for Bank of America to use media reports to support their claims that shareholders were aware of the huge bonuses Merrill Lynch & Co. were offering their top executives.

The trial stems from the same judge who threw out a $33 million settlement between the SEC and Bank of America last year, clearing the way for the civil trial. In the case of two of the witnesses for Bank of America, they were going to use media reports as their primary evidence for asserting shareholders had knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the bonuses offered by Merrill Lynch.

For more, see americanbankingnews.com.

January 6, 2010

Criminology Expert Witnesses & Ohio Rules Of Criminal Procedure Amendment

The Ohio Supreme Court recently approved new rules governing pretrial procedures that will help ensure those convicted of crimes are truly guilty, according to Thomas Moyer, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. The amendment to Rule 16 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure will require greater sharing of evidence between prosecutors and defense attorneys before trial.

One of the major rule changes relates to witness statements, which prosecutors are currently allowed to withhold until trial. Under the new law, witness statements would have to be shared with defense counsel ahead of time, along with other information from police reports. Defense attorneys have complained for the past 35 years that county prosecutors in Ohio have had an unfair advantage because they could withhold certain evidence.

Defense attorneys would be required to hand over witness statements they have obtained. Their criminology expert witnesses would also be required to provide written reports before trial or else they would not be allowed to testify.

For more, see blogcleveland.com.

January 5, 2010

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000 Part 6

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

The ISO 9000 Quality Manual

The standard requires companies to write an ISO 9000 quality manual that defines how each requirement of the rather broad ISO 9001:2008 standard is applied at the company. In a sense, the ISO 9000 quality manual is a company specific version of the standard.

While writing the quality manual represents a big hurdle for most companies, the ISO 9001:2008 standard requires further details in form of ISO 9000 quality procedures, a quality policy and quality objectives. Most companies make the mistake of creating various different documents to meet these requirements; however, this usually is the beginning of a cumbersome and bureaucratic ISO 9000 quality system.

► Tip: Combine the different documentation requirements (i.e., quality manual, procedures, corporate policy and objectives) as much as possible into one comprehensive manual. This reduces repetition and bureaucracy, and it saves time implementing the quality system.

January 4, 2010

Transporation Regulations Expert Witness On Collisions

Trucking and transportation rules and regulations expert witness Michael K. Napier of Napier Diversified Services, Inc., answers the question "What are some of the causes of tractor-trailer collisions?"

There are many different reasons for accidents involving large trucks include negligence on the part of the truck driver or the other vehicles involved. Others include:

* Aggressive drivers
* Unrealistic schedules
* Failure to inspect tires, brakes and lights
* Tailgating
* Long work-shifts
* Driver fatigue
* Cell phone use
* Failure to install blind spot mirrors
* Jackknifing
* Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limit

A 18-wheeler truck traveling at 70 miles per hour has twice as much energy as one at 50 mph. In addition, automobiles are designed under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to encounter like size vehicles, not 80,000 pound trucks. Added hazards include the absence of rear and side bumpers and high front bumpers that punch into automobile passenger compartments. Together these factors account for the high percentage of serious injuries and deaths in these crashes.

January 3, 2010

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Expert Witness Q & A

Federal motor carrier safety regulations expert witness Michael K. Napier of Napier Diversified Services, Inc., answers the question "What are some of the dangers associated with large trucks on the roadways?"

* No-Zones - Large trucks have no-zones, or blind spots, that are located around the front, back, and sides of the truck. When a car is in the No-Zone, the truck driver is usually unable to see it. At these times, a large truck could turn into a passing car and a serious accident could result.

* Squeeze Play – Tractor-trailer trucks need to swing wide to the left in order to negotiate a right turn. When truck drivers make wide right turns; they are often unable to see smaller vehicles directly behind or beside them. When a car cuts between the truck and a curb, the car can be caught in a squeeze, and a serious accident can occur.

* Stopping Distance – Big rig trucks need a greater stopping distance than other vehicles. If there is not enough stopping distance between a car and a large truck, the car risks being involved in a rear-end collision.

* “Off-track” - Occurs when a truck turns at high speed and swings into an adjacent lane unexpectedly. Unlike passenger vehicles, transport trucks require up to 40 percent more space to stop. Following too closely results in inadequate stopping distance between large trucks which then rear-end vehicles in front. It is not difficult to imagine the devastating results that occur when a car, van or SUV is hit from behind with over 10,000 lbs. of moving metal.

January 3, 2010

Interstate Motor Carrier Operations Expert Witness & State Motor Vehicle Codes

On his website, interstate motor carrier operations expert witness Lew Grill provides a link to STATE MOTOR VEHICLE CODES.

January 3, 2010

Federal Motor Vechicle Safety Standards Expert Witness Q & A

Federal motor vehicle safety standards expert witness Michael K. Napier of Napier Diversified Services, Inc., answers the question, What is the applicable law that relates to the commercial trucking industry?

The FHWA is the government agency responsible for the issuance, administration, and enforcement of Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSRs are found at 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 325, 350, and 382-399. The Hazardous Materials Regulations for motor carriers are found at 49 CFR Parts 100-180. In addition, 49 CFR Part 40 regulates drug and alcohol testing requirements for motor carriers.

All carriers engaged in interstate commerce within the United States, even if from Mexico or Canada, must comply with these federal regulations. The laws of Mexico and Canada, which are less stringent than in the United States, do not apply to Mexican and Canadian trucks driving in the United States, although some interesting North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) issues are raised when trying to make the truck sizes and weights compatible between the countries.

January 3, 2010

Trucking Experts On Accurate Safety Ratings

Trucking experts at Transport Topics Online write In Pursuit of Accurate Safety Ratings:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken a step in the right direction with its Comprehensive Safety Analysis, a new way of evaluating trucking safety.

Now, some serious tweaking is in order.

CSA 2010, as it is known, is the agency’s revamping of a flawed and oft-criticized safety rating system based on the unreliable SafeStat database.

The problem is not so much with the exhaustive, top-to-bottom compliance reviews of individual fleets undertaken from time to time by FMCSA inspectors — but that such reviews are far too infrequent, target only a small percentage of all the registered truck operators and are triggered by inherently inaccurate, outdated and incomplete field reporting.

January 2, 2010

Radiology Nursing Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including radiology nursing. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task expert witnesses at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog posts:

The strategies described above do not constitute an exhaustive list of tactics implemented by states to achieve medical malpractice reform. For example, a number of states are encouraging health care providers to apologize to the patient for the medical error by prohibiting such action from being considered as an admission of guilt in future legal actions. (15) Furthermore, states are increasingly searching for new ways to address this issue as a means not only to reduce costs but also to promote patient safety, ameliorate the potentially litigious nature of the provider-patient relationship, encourage the consistent use of best practices, and to evaluate how the practices of other interested parties, such as insurance companies, affect the crisis of medical malpractice liability.

January 2, 2010

Operating Nurse Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including operating room nursing nursing. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task expert witnesses at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog posts:

Reasons to resolve medical malpractice claims through alternative dispute resolution include the parties' ability to control the procedure (eg, time, place); reduced costs; shortened time to resolve the dispute; reduced emotional trauma compared to litigation; and preservation or maintenance of the relationship between the parties. (14) Alternative dispute resolution requirements do pose some concerns, however, including whether patients receive full compensation for their injuries such as they might through litigation, whether patients are intimidated into premature settlements, and whether these pretrial negotiations serve merely to delay inevitable litigation.

January 2, 2010

Pediatric Nursing Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including pediatric nursing. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task expert witnesses at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog posts:

Another method that states require as a prerequisite to restrict the time period when a claim for damages can be filed is to require that alternative dispute resolution negotiations, such as arbitration and/or mediation, occur before the claim is filed. Alternative dispute resolution requirements vary considerably from state to state. For example, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey require that cases for claims less than a specified amount must participate in an arbitration proceeding despite the fact that the decision can be nonbinding for the parties involved. Alternatively, Michigan permits parties to agree voluntarily to arbitration, but if the claim is for $75,000 or less, the decision of the arbitrator is binding. Another variation of the alternative dispute resolution requirement is found in Oregon where all parties must participate in some form of dispute resolution unless the case is settled or all parties have voluntarily waived, in writing, the right to enter into such negotiations.

January 2, 2010

Surgical Nursing Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including surgical nursing. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task expert witnesses at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog posts:

Restricting conditions for medical malpractice claims.
A fourth strategy used by many states for medical malpractice reform is specifying at what point in time it is appropriate for an injured party to bring a claim against a health care provider. States restrict these claims in a variety of ways, three of which are discussed below.

First, every state sets in statute a period of time, usually from the date of the incident or the reasonable date of discovery of the injury, during which a claim for damages must be brought against a health care provider. These laws are known as statutes of limitations. Traditionally, medical malpractice cases had a five-year statute of limitations from the date the patient discovered the injury. Over time, some states have shortened the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases to decrease the number of unexpected claims for damages filed against health care professionals because the time lapse often renders the claim difficult to prove or disprove. Approximately 31 states have a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases of two years from the date of the injury. A number of states have special provisions in the statute of limitations that extend this time period for minors up to a certain age and/or extend the period of time for the discovery of foreign objects negligently left in the body.

January 2, 2010

Neurological Nursing Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including neurological nursing. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task expert witnesses at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog posts:

The second way that states limit the number of claims for damages brought against health care providers is by requiring the plaintiff to submit a pretrial certificate of merit from a medical expert validating the claim of malpractice. About one-third of the states currently have certificate or affidavit of merit requirements for medical malpractice cases. It is widely believed among proponents of medical malpractice reform that the certificate of merit requirement will prevent excessive filings of weak claims. A number of patient-rights advocates assert, however, that this requirement places an undue burden on plaintiffs.

January 1, 2010

Perinatal Care Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including perinatal care expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog:

Joint and several liability. A third strategy that states frequently employ to reform their medical liability system is to modify another legal doctrine, joint and several liability, which is common to cases in which more than one person caused the harm. The joint and several liability doctrine permits holding a single defendant responsible for the entire damage versus being held responsible for the percentage of the damages that can be reasonably attributed to them.A number of states have modified this doctrine by separating joint liability from several liability, thus establishing a mechanism of proportionately assigning harm among the defendants

January 1, 2010

Neonatal Care Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including neonatal care expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog:

Alternatively, those who oppose modifying the collateral source rule assert that plaintiffs do not receive double recovery if they are paid up front by another source because many insurance companies, especially public payers, require that the plaintiff essentially pay back any money that is subsequently recovered in a medical malpractice case. (8) Opponents also contend that elimination or modification of the collateral source rule helps health care providers avoid paying for the full amount of the actual damage(s) they caused, thereby decreasing full accountability for their actions.

January 1, 2010

Birth Defects Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including birth defects expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog:

Modifying the collateral source rule. A second approach to medical liability reform that a number of states adopt is modifying the collateral source rule. Intact, the collateral source rule prohibits defendants from introducing information at trial or during negotiation for the purpose of off setting the damages awarded by asserting that the plaintiff may have received compensation from another source (eg, worker's compensation, another Insurer). (5)

Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont permit consideration of collateral source payments received by the patient when damages are awarded in medical malpractice cases. (6) Proponents of this type of reform argue that "[w]hen a plaintiff receives compensation from their insurance company and again at trial, the Insurance proceeds do not represent actual compensation for an Individual's injuries, but rather a source of windfall."

January 1, 2010

Perinatal Injuries Expert Witnesses On Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including perinatal injuries care expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants continue from January 1st blog:

Only 13 states still use the combined form of the joint and several liability doctrine for medical malpractice cases. (3) Many states that have modified the doctrine will enforce joint and several liability, however, when the health care provider is found to have acted "in concert with others" or with "intentional malice" or when the health care provider's acts attributed to more than 50% of the harm. (3) Additionally, states such as California and Ohio apply joint and several liability to only the economic portion of the damages and not to the noneconomic portion. (3)

One rationale for maintaining the original application of joint and several liability is to protect patients from having to bring cases against every health care provider who participated in the act that resulted in harm. (10) Conversely, the rationale for modifying the joint and several liability rule is to decrease the number of additional court cases that will result when the single defendant attempts to recover damages from the other health care providers involved. In addition, although joint and several liability may encourage defendants to settle out of court to avoid being found responsible for the entire damage award, proponents of the rule-modification strategy contend that "it has had the effect of turning lawsuits into all out searches to find the most financially lucrative defendants."

January 1, 2010

Birth Trauma Expert Witnesses & Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including birth trauma expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants continue from the December 15th blog entry:

For example, Alaska, California, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia laws prohibit a patient from receiving more than $250,000 for noneconomic damages. (3) One rationale behind noneconomic damage caps is that because such damages are extremely difficult to quantify, a jury often will inflate the award to the injured patient. In turn, such awards are believed to increase the costs associated with medical malpractice insurance (eg, increased medical insurance premiums that then create increased health care costs).

Other states, including Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Virginia, have laws that apply in all injury-related cases, medical liability Included, that cap the monetary amount that an injured patient can receive for all damages, both economic (eg, lost wages) and noneconomic. (4) Further, a number of states have adopted laws that restrict the amount of and the conditions under which monetary damages are awarded to punish the health care provider for a "wanton disregard of [patient] safety" (ie, punitive damages).

Although they are popular in the medical malpractice reform arena, damage caps are not without their critics. Opponents of damage caps, including attorneys and patient rights and safety organizations, contend that damage caps penalize the most seriously Injured patients while reducing health care providers' accountability for negligent acts