Engineering Expert Opines on Storm Damage to Commercial Property

    Engineering Expert WitnessThis case involves damage to a small commercial property incurred during a hurricane. The Plaintiff owner of the property discovered structural damage to the property’s foundation after the storm, which had allegedly made the building dangerous to occupy, causing FEMA to order a mandatory evacuation for the property. However, and inspection performed by the Plaintiff’s insurance company allegedly revealed no such defects. The Plaintiff claimed that the insurance company was not acting in good faith to fulfill their obligation to ameliorate the expense of needed repairs.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly discuss your background in the structural engineering of commercial property.
    • 2. Have you completed a substantial amount of work with wind or tornado damaged properties?

    Expert Witness Response E-054271

    I have provided structural engineering designs for many buildings, many located in hurricane high wind areas. I have investigated damage to maybe thousands of structures caused by high winds from both hurricanes and tornadoes, but many of these investigations were not for either the owner or an insurance company but more cursory investigations used to generally describe the damage and use the information to potentially support new engineering guidance or building code changes. I have written engineering design guidance for high wind designs and participate in ASCE 7 minimum load standard wind load committee. I have investigated damage to many residential and commercial foundations. I have never come across one that was damaged by high winds.

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