Faulty Chiller Plant Causes Millions of Dollars of Damage to Casino

    HVAC ExpertThis case involves a significant construction project at a casino. The owners of the facility and their management team hired a well-regarded construction management firm to oversee the project, maintain relations with all subcontractors, and approve of work and payment disbursements. A new chiller plant was installed and expected to be used in the new structures created by the construction project. However, a decision was made to have this chiller plant lend some capability to an existing structure as well, which housed millions of dollars’ worth of security equipment and monitoring systems for the casino facility. Unfortunately, the chiller plant was not properly arranged, and a defective temperature control bypass valve was inadequately utilized. This resulted in significant water damage to the security instrumentation systems and many millions of dollars’ worth of complex infrastructure was ruined. The general construction management firm has denied liability and asserts that they weren’t the installer of the chiller, and as a result claims that they were not responsible for the inadequate arrangement. However, the plaintiff asserts that the general construction management firm was paid a fee to carefully monitor and assess this project – which they believe falls into the scope of work as outlined by their contracts.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Do you have experience managing / overseeing large scale retail / hospitality construction projects like the one described?
    • 2. Have you had any significant experience utilizing chiller plants?
    • 3. Are you able to carefully assess the liability in this case to determine if the construction management firm is in fact liable for overseeing this element of the project?

    Expert Witness Response E-007733

    I was the group manager (project executive responsible pre-construction and construction) on a 17 story hotel/spa/convention center/restaurant complex back in 2006. I also built a casino from the ground up in 2000 on an Indian reservation property. I have also worked on 2 other reservation properties. One was a casino/restaurant renovation. I have worked on several projects with large capacity chillers, cooling towers, generator, boilers, co-generation, etc. I have experience as a construction manager and am able to assess the liability in this case.

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