Structural Engineering Expert Witness & Summit Structures Case

OSHA has inspected the Cowboys indoor practice facility that collapsed Saturday and has up to six months to conclude an investigation. Summit Structures LLC of Allentown, Pa., built the $4 million facility in 2003. A Pennsylvania court ruled in 2007 that Summit was negligent in the design and construction of a membrane-covered warehouse that collapsed when a major snowstorm struck Philadelphia in 2003.

The building was constructed for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, which brought the lawsuit. In his ruling, Judge Allan Tereshko wrote that structure came down “under the weight of the (year’s) first significant snowfall.” Those conditions, Tereshko wrote, “would have been easily tolerated by the building had it been properly designed and constructed.” Pennsylvania-based structural engineering expert witness Charles Timbie testified that the reasons for the collapse included miscalculating how much snow the roof could hold and a failure to install the required number of “king pins.”

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