-> ACS provides expert evaluations, thorough analyses and where necessary, effective testimony in dispute resolution settings. These services have been provided for some of the most complex disputes related to the built environment. Our experts are fluent in the techniques of discovery and investigative analysis of building and engineering failures to assist clients in resolving liability or claims that may result in legal or adversarial positions. Our clients are secure in the knowledge that the opinions and assertions provided are founded upon unbiased analysis, data and broad experience.

Areas of expertise:

  • Mechanical Systems for Buildings
  • Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
  • Cleanrooms for Advanced Technology Industries
  • Industrial Ventilation
  • Workplace Exposures to Hazardous Materials
  • Power Piping Systems
  • Process Piping Systems
  • Refrigeration Systems
  • Evaluation of Design or Construction Deficiencies
  • Hazardous Occupancy Design and Construction
  • Compliance with Building and Fire Codes and Standards
  • Construction Management Issues
  • Fire and Explosions in Hazardous Occupancies
  • Standard of Care in Design and Construction

Highlights of ACS’ applied expertise to noteworthy cases are outlined here.

Consulting ProjectsConsulting Projects Forensic ProjectsForensic Projects

Forensic Projects

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Hospital Contamination Lawsuit Wichita
Case:
Hospital Contamination Lawsuit
Wichita, KS

This project involves forensic and litigation consulting and preparation of an expert report in preparation for testimony. The plaintiff alleged infection caused by a defective HVAC system serving the operating room in which open heart surgery was performed.

IBM Workers, NY and VT v. IBM et al
Case:
IBM Workers, NY, VT and San Jose, CA v. IBM et al
Contracted by:
Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, Washington, DC and co-defendant law firms
Represented:
Defendants

Multiple plaintiffs alleged health issues as result of employment in IBM semiconductor facilities and alleged resultant exposure to hazardous chemicals. ACS conducted field investigations, forensic reconstruction of historical facilities, research into relevant period standard of care and consulted with the litigation team concerning cleanroom design and industrial ventilation systems. Particular emphasis on potential exposure of workers to chemicals as a result of allegedly improper industrial ventilation and local exhaust systems. In addition, issues related to improper construction, operational practices and non-compliance with codes and ordinances were alleged, therefore these were evaluated. Preliminary report and affidavit filed. Testimony at trial in San Jose where a decision favorable to defendants was rendered.

Sintek Photronic Corporation, Taiwan, ROC v. Insurance Consortium, Taiwan, PROC
Case:
Sintek Photronic Corporation, Taiwan, ROC v. Insurance Consortium, Taiwan, PROC
Contracted by:
Sintek Photronic Corporation, Lee and Li Attorneys, Taiwan, PROC
Represented:
Plaintiff

Evaluation of the improper actions of insurance consortium in the denial of payment of reasonable amount for loss related to a fire in a flat panel display manufacturing facility in Taiwan. Fire in the compressed air system of the plant damaged the facility and the production tools. Remediation efforts of insurers' contractor were inadequate. Estimated value of property damages >$40MM with business interruption loss in excess of property damages. Preparation of testing plan, supervision of analytical testing and preparation of expert report for presentation to arbitration tribunal.

AIU Insurance, et al. v. Architects & Engineers, Tokyo Japan
Case:
AIU Insurance, et al. v. Architects & Engineers, Tokyo Japan
Contracted by:
A/E Firm, Tokyo McCutchen, Brown, Doyle & Enerson (now Bingham McCutchen), San Francisco, CA
Represented:
Defendant

Consulting re: cause and origin of $500MM fire and explosions in semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in Taiwan. Defendant was alleged to have provided deficient design and consulting services not in conformance with the standard of care or international building and fire codes. Field investigation and forensic reconstruction of the facility and production tools at the time of the fire (no longer in place) was conducted to determine the cause of the fire and subsequent explosions. Testing of artifacts of the fire via laboratory methods to determine trace element constituents was conducted to substantiate expert analysis and opinions. Preparation of technical report illustrating improper operation and maintenance procedures of owner. Testimony at mediation in San Francisco, CA resulted in favorable resolution for the defendant. Insurance subrogation matter.

Complex Asbestos Litigation v. Durabla, et al
Case:
Complex Asbestos Litigation v. Durabla, et al
Contracted by:
Law Offices of Lucinda Storm – San Francisco, CA; Clemente Mueller & Tobia – Morristown, NJ
Represented:
Defendant

Evaluation of claims of asbestos exposure of workers servicing refrigeration and HVAC equipment. Claims of the various plaintiffs vary from case to case and include exposure to gaskets, thermal insulation, wire insulation, etc. Consultation includes evaluation of maintenance procedures, general knowledge of refrigeration and HVAC industry practices, testing of gasket removal procedures and preparation for testimony at trial. On-going matters.

Cedars Sinai Hospital v. Contractors and Engineers
Case:
Cedars-Sinai Hospital v. Contractors and Engineers
Contracted by:
Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan, LLP 1620 26th Street Fourth Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404-4060
Represented:
Plaintiff

Litigation consulting and testimony at mediation involving the failure of a large absorption chilling plant to perform as required by the owner. The issues required the analysis of the design and specifications of the engineer, the proposals of the contractor and performance claims by the manufacturer that were not substantiated by field testing. Several day mediation resulted in a settlement favorable to the plaintiff owner.

University of Texas Neural and Molecular Sciences Building
Project:
University of Texas Neural and Molecular Sciences Building
Client:
University of Texas, Austin Campus

Evaluation of the cause of catastrophic failure of air to air heat exchangers associated with research laboratory HVAC systems. This assignment involved review of design documents, on-site observation and evaluation of failed components and technical evaluation of the aerodynamic forces (turbulent flow) associated with the installation of the heat exchangers in field built air handling units (approximately 50,000 CFM/each). An engineering report and recommendations were issued prior to litigation, resulting in a definitive plan of remedial action and resolution.

International Rectifier Temecula, CA / Zurich International v. A/E firm and Contractor
Case:
Semiconductor Manufacturer, Temecula, CA
Contracted by:
Clausen Miller, Newport Beach, CA
Represented:
Plaintiff

Research and litigation consulting re: damages to semiconductor facility and production tools resultant from acid spill. Plaintiffs allege improper design and construction of piping, cleanroom HVAC, exhaust ventilation and control systems resulting in more than $50MM in property damages and several times that amount in business interruption losses. Preparation of preliminary report, field investigation, interviews with knowledgeable persons and research concerning standard of care and relevant codes and standards. Insurance subrogation. Ongoing matter.

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