Saturday, September 30, 2017

BWAY Corporation, a Chicago manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers, faces $503,380 in proposed penalties after OSHA responded to four separate reports of workers suffering injuries at the facility

Chicago Container Manufacturer Faces $503K in OSHA Penalties
September 26, 2017

A Chicago manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers faces $503,380 in proposed penalties after inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to four separate reports of workers suffering injuries at the facility, the federal agency announced.

As a result of its investigations, OSHA cited BWAY Corporation for five repeated and five serious safety violations of machine safety procedures, and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In the past five years, 15 workers suffered amputations at the Chicago plant.

OSHA found one employee suffered two broken bones in his hand after it was crushed by a piece of equipment. Three other employees suffered amputations from unguarded chain and sprocket assemblies.

The agency issued repeated citations for failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures that prevent unintentional machine movement, and inadequate machine guarding on a mechanical power press, belts and pulleys, and chains and sprockets. The five serious citations involve failing to lockout equipment prior to clearing jams and inadequate machine guarding on multiple pieces of equipment.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has 27 facilities and about 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico – with about 500 employees in Chicago.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About BWAY

For more than a century, BWAY has offered packaging solutions for large manufacturers, container distributors and small businesses. Today, we are a market leader in the general line packaging industry by providing rigid metal and plastic containers across North America.

Our rigid metal containers include paint cans, steel pails, aerosol cans, F-style containers, monotop cans, pour top cans, ammunition boxes and an oil can. We also manufacture rigid plastic packaging including pails, drums, and hybrid paint cans.

Approximately 75 percent of our business comprises general line packaging used by industrial manufacturers. Roughly 20 percent of our containers are allocated to food products. The remaining five percent accounts for production of ammunition boxes.

BWAY has annual sales exceeding $1 billion. We have approximately 3,000 dedicated, well-trained employees who deliver exceptional products to customers. Our organization maintains modern, well-capitalized manufacturing facilities that are geographically aligned to ensure fast order fulfillment and superior customer service.

Fall protection again topped the list of OSHA's Most-Cited Standards for 2017; inadequate or unprovided training is involved in many or most of the violations cited by OSHA

OSHA Unveils FY2017 Top Ten Most-Cited Standards

Fall protection again topped the list, which was revealed Sept. 26 at the NSC conference before a standing-room-only crowd. 

Sep 26, 2017


OSHA's Patrick Kapust revealed the Top Ten list of most-cited OSHA standards for fiscal year 2017 on Sept. 26 during a standing-room-only Learning Lab session at the National Safety Congress & Expo here in the Indiana Convention Center. Not only were attendees standing all along the walls of the meeting room in the expo hall for this presentation, but many others were lined up outside to watch and photograph Kapust's slides as he talked.

Kapust, CSP, is deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs and has worked for OSHA since 1991.

"This list doesn't change much year to year. The order may change," he said. "I encourage folks to use this list and look at your own workplaces" to make sure the hazards addressed in the Top Ten list of standards are addressed," he added.

The FY2017 Top Ten:

1. Fall Protection, 1926.501, 6,072 violations

2. Hazard Communication, 1910.1200, 4,176 violations

3. Scaffolding, 1926.451, 3,288 violations

4. Respiratory Protection, 1910.134, 3,097 violations

5. Lockout/Tagout, 1910.147, 2,877 violations

6. Ladders, 1926.1053, 2,241 violations

7. Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178, 2,162 violations

8. Machine Guarding, 1910.212, 1,933 violations

9. Fall Protection -- Training Requirements, 1926.503, 1,523 violations

10. Electrical Wiring Methods, 1910.305, 1,405 violations

Four of the Top Ten involve fall exposures, and Kapust explained that inadequate or unprovided training is involved in many or most of the violations cited by OSHA in four of the standards on the list.

With respiratory protection, medical evaluations often are not done and fit testing also is often undone, he said, adding, "These are readily fixable, easy to take care of."

Friday, September 29, 2017

SUFFOCATED TO DEATH: OSHA is investigating the weekend death of Melvin Gant Jr., 28, of South Carolina at the Nucor Steel plant in Decatur aftre hi slipped into vat containing the waste product of finished rolled steel

Melvin Gant Jr., 28, of South Carolina.  RIP

OSHA investigating fatal Nucor accident

By Anna Beahm Staff Writer
September 27, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the weekend death of a man at the Nucor Steel plant in Decatur, authorities said.

Decatur police said Saturday that Melvin Gant Jr., 28, of South Carolina, slipped into what Decatur police called a “vat containing the waste product of finished rolled steel” while doing his normal duties. His death was ruled accidental by Decatur police.

This waste product is better defined as furnace dust, said Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn.

“It’s basically the burnoff product from the electrode from the furnaces. It’s a very fine dust,” Chunn said.

OSHA spokesman Michael D’Aquino said the accident happened in the bag house on the east side of the plant.

There, the air and dust coming off the furnaces is collected and funneled into a large hopper, Chunn said. It is later packaged and removed from the plant.

Gant fell into one of the large hoppers while he was working in the bag house, Chunn said.

Chunn said Gant’s death was caused by suffocation from the fine dust. No life-saving techniques could be administered, police said.

Gant had been working for Nucor in Decatur off and on for several years, but did not have a Decatur-area residence listed, Chunn said.

Gant was a contractor for Nucor with Atlantic Recovery, said Mike Lee, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel in Decatur.

"On behalf of all our Nucor Steel Decatur teammates, I want to express my sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Gant. We are deeply saddened by this event," Lee said.

Gant’s death is the second serious injury or fatality reported to OSHA since the plant opened, OSHA reports show. The only other injury filed with OSHA was reported in December 2010, according to an OSHA database.

D’Aquino said in an email he did not know how long the investigation would take.

“We have to wait for the investigation to be completed before we know what the findings are, if any,” he said.

Operations at the plant were suspended Saturday but returned to normal Sunday afternoon.

FEMALE WORKER INJURED: OSHA investigating an industrial accident that happened Monday at Del Monte Foods Inc. in Plover, WI

PLOVER, WIS. (WSAW) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating an industrial accident that happened Monday at Del Monte Foods Inc. in Plover.

First responders were called to the facility after getting a report of an accident with an entrapped female patient, according to Stevens Point Assistant Fire Chief Joe Gemza. The woman was transported to Aspirus hospital in Wausau because it is a level 2 trauma hospital, said Gemza. There is no update on the patient's condition.

When reached for comment, Del Monte Foods Operations Manager Mark Zblewski told NewsChannel 7 it is company policy not to release information about workplace accidents to the public.

Del Monte Foods Inc. informed OSHA of the accident and is cooperating with the investigation, according to Scott Allen, OSHA Regional Director of Public Affairs. No details will be available until after the investigation is complete, said Allen.

Off-Duty LAPD Officer Edgar Verduzco, 26, was driving a 2016 Chevy Camaro “at a high rate of speed” on the southbound 605 when he rear-ended two vehicles and killed a teenage boy and his parents (Oscar, Maribel and Mario Davila of Riverside)

Off-Duty LAPD Officer Arrested in Possible DUI Crash That Killed Teen Boy, His Parents on 605 Freeway

Posted 7:40 AM, September 27, 2017, by Tracy Bloom, Mark Mester and Chris Wolfe, Updated at 11:03PM, September 27, 2017

An off-duty LAPD officer was arrested following a suspected DUI crash that killed a teenage boy and his parents on the 605 Freeway late Tuesday night, authorities said Wednesday.

Three people were killed in a fiery crash on the 605 Freeway that was triggered by a suspected DUI driver, according to CHP. .(Credit: OnScene.TV)
Off-Duty LAPD Officer Edgar Verduzco, 26, was driving a 2016 Chevy Camaro “at a high rate of speed” on the southbound 605 when he rear-ended two vehicles — a 2014 Nissan and a 2010 Scion — south of Saragosa Street at around 10:15 p.m., according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

The impact caused the Nissan to catch fire and become fully engulfed in flames, trapping all three occupants inside. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene a short time later and pronounced all three dead, the release stated.

Their names have not been released by L.A. County coroner's officials, who told KTLA the bodies were very badly burned and it would take some time to identify them.

But family members confirmed they were parents Maribel and Mario Davila and their teenage son, Oscar. The Riverside family includes three other sons, all older than Oscar, who were not involved in the crash.

The Scion driver, identified only as a 31-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries in the collision. It was unclear whether she was taken to a hospital.

Verduzco, who sustained a broken nose in the collision, was arrested, the release stated. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, according to CHP.

Shortly before the crash, video posted on his Instagram account had the hashtag #dontdrinkanddrive. It was apparently filmed at a bar, and beer glasses could be seen in the background.

Authorities were investigating a triple fatal crash on the 605 Freeway in Whittier on Sept. 26, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, Perez said. He is being held on $100,000 bail, inmate records showed.

Verduzco is an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who was off-duty at the time, according to CHP.

“I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I am that a Los Angeles police officer would disregard the law and cause an accident with such awful, awful consequences," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said during an early-afternoon news conference, where he delivered brief remarks about the arrest.

Verduzco worked in the department for about two years, Beck said, describing his time at LAPD as "unremarkable." The officer came to the department from the U.S. Army, where he had served for about four years.

The chief added that he believed Verduzco had served in Afghanistan.

Earlier Beck released a statement regarding the crash, saying that the department sends its "deepest sympathies" to the family, and that an administrative investigation is underway.

"The Department has no tolerance for driving under the influence and holds its officers to the highest standards of professionalism both on and off-duty," he wrote in the statement. "It is particularly troubling when one of our own police officers violates drunk driving laws, which is why a drunk driving offense always results in a personnel complaint which can lead to dismissal."

The crash, which remains under investigation, prompted the hourslong closure of the 605 Freeway overnight. All lanes were reopened Wednesday morning.


The Los Angeles police officer who had been arrested following a deadly crash in which alcohol possibly played a role was released from custody on Thursday, according to inmate records.

LAPD Officer Edgar Verduzco is seen in an image uploaded to his Instagram account July 29, 2017.

Edgar Verduzco, 26, left Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles around 5:10 p.m. due to insufficient grounds to file charges, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department inmate database shows.

Earlier in the day, Officer Al Perez with the California Highway Patrol — which is investigating the incident — told KTLA the agency had not yet submitted a formal complaint to the District Attorney's office and did not expect to before the 48-hour deadline for holding prisoners without a warrant.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Verduzco was assigned to his home with pay as the investigation continues.

He had been arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

The police officer was off duty Tuesday night when around 10:15 p.m. his Chevy Camaro smashed into the back of a Nissan carrying a teenager and his two parents, identified by family as Oscar, Maribel and Mario Davila of Riverside. All three died after their vehicle caught fire and burst into flames.

A woman in a second car that was impacted also sustained minor injuries, and Verduzco suffered a broken nose.

Video posted to the 26-year-old's Instagram account around 7 p.m. Tuesday used a hashtag to caution viewers against drinking and driving. It showed an animated avatar sitting in a car atop what appeared to be a counter at a bar with glasses of beer.

It was not immediately clear Thursday evening whether the Calfornia Highway Patrol planned to file a warrant for Verduzco's arrest. The agency is continuing to investigate the collision and said they are awaiting blood test results.

Hurricane Harvey raises many coverage issues ranging from occurrence limits to application of sub-limits and deductibles, to business interruption claims where there is no physical damage to insured property

Harvey's Coverage Issues

“Post-Hurricane Harvey, what claims and litigation issues do you foresee occurring?” 

By Eric Gilkey , Phil Gusman

“Harvey raises many coverage issues ranging from occurrence limits to application of sub-limits and deductibles, to business interruption claims where there is no physical damage to insured property. This catastrophe is a grim reminder of the power of hurricanes and an opportunity to mitigate the risks of wind and flood and improve resilience.”-Robert Fisher,Partner, Clyde & Co. CLM Member since 2017.

“Much of Houston’s flooded areas may not have flood insurance. Katrina-like fights over wind versus water and which came first are likely to occur in an effort to trigger coverage under a homeowner’s policy. Insurers should be ready to investigate and defend.”-James R. Nieset, Jr., Partner, Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson. CLM Member since 2011.

“There will undoubtedly be a slew of coverage issues that emerge, including whether anti-concurrent provisions bar coverage when property damage was caused by a covered and non-covered peril; interpreting and applying back up of sewer and drain exclusions and endorsements; and whether policies provide for contingent, civil authority, and ingress and egress business income coverage.”-Nicole Gallagher, Associate, BatesCarey LLP. CLM Member since 2017.

“While Harvey will likely spawn numerous coverage issues and disputes, the applicability and scope of any mandated mediation/arbitration programs or some other form of alternative dispute resolution as a mechanism to resolve disputed claims will likely be an issue in an attempt to avoid mass litigation.”-Seth Weinstein, Partner, Lewis Brisbois. CLM Member since 2013.

“Floods create an abundance of contamination- related losses. Not even just homes and commercial buildings with mold/bacteria exposures, but also chemicals in storage being released. There will be coverage disputes between the various fungi, bacteria, and pollution exclusions on property and liability policies.”-Kari Dybdahl, EVP and Director of Operations, American Risk Management Resources Network LLC. CLM Fellow since 2017.


Number of hurricane seasons that have passed since a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) made U.S. landfall (Wilma in October 2005).

Source: NASA

$23 billion

Amount of money the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) owed the Treasury as of March 2016. Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy are responsible for the vast majority of the debt.

Source: GAO


Percent (estimated) of homeowners with flood damage in Texas who have flood insurance.

Source: Consumer Federation of America



Construction Claims, Forensics, Property Damage Investigations, Assessment, Remediation, Litigation and Indoor-Air Expert Engineers

Bill Stephan, PhD, PE, CIH, CHMM, MBA, JD
Principal Engineer

P.O. Box 520
Tenafly, New Jersey 07670-0520
Phone: (973) 897-8162
Fax: (973) 810-0440


Firm Overview

The engineering and forensic firm of Metropolitan Consulting, Engineering, and Forensics was established for the purpose of providing a high value service to the insureds and the insurers. Our founding principal (Bill Stephan) is a licensed professional engineer and a licensed certified industrial hygienist in several states, including, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

We specialize in the in-situ remediation of petroleum and chlorinated spills, the assessment of indoor air pollution, the defense of liability claims, the investigation and defense of first and third party insurance claims, surety claims, construction disputes, construction claims, construction defects and the handling of subrogation claims.  We are also experts on differing site condition assessments, delay clay analysis, allocation of remediation costs, vapor intrusion evaluation, vapor phase and transport and in design on vapor mitigation systems.  Additionally, we offer forensic engineering services, including age-dating of contaminant releases, oversight, evaluation of remedial alternatives, sub-slab ventilation system design and installation.  The list of our core services is:

  • Cause and Origin Investigations
  • Construction Failure Analysis (Residential, Industrial and Commercial)
  • Structural Integrity Evaluation
  • Construction defects
  • Flood damage assessments
  • Site Investigation
  • Tank removals and tank installations; licensed and insured to perform entire UST work
  • In-Situ Remediation of Soil and Groundwater
  • Vapor intrusion, indoor air evaluation and mitigation
  • Causation
  • Forensic Investigations (age-dating)
  • Oversight
  • Review of Remedial Action Work Plans
  • Reserve Estimation
  • Cost Allocation
  • Health and Safety at industrial sites, including oil & gas exploration and production sites
  • Radioactive site investigation
  • RAWP Preparation
  • Site Remediation
  • Cleanup Level Development and Negotiation
  • Subrogation
  • Expert Witness/Litigation Support
  • Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Services
  • Construction Claims
  • Construction Defects
  • Surety Claims
  • Construction Litigation Support
  • Construction Oversight

Additional Specialty Service Areas
Age Dating
Audits of Claims
Boilers & Burners
Building Codes
Building Inspections

Claim Management

Construction Accident
Construction Defects
Construction Delay Claims
Construction Failures
Construction Injuries

Construction Surety Claims
Construction Differing Site Condition Claims
Construction Loss of Labor Productivity Claims
Contractor Performance Issues
Construction Errors and Omissions

Defective Designs
Defective Roadway Design

Electrical Accidents/Injuries
Electrical Equipment Failures
Electrical Fires
Elevators, Escalators
   & Conveyors
Embedded Software Hazards
   & Analysis
Equipment Failures
Errors and Omissions
Failure Analysis
Fire Codes
Fire Protection Systems
Fire Suppression Systems

Flood Damage Assessment
Foundation Systems

Gas Systems
Heating & Ventilation Systems
Heavy Construction
Highway/Roadway Design
Human Factors
HVAC Lightning Damage Assessment

Indoor Air Quality
Laboratory Services
Ladders, Scaffolding Falls
   & Failures

Mechanical Defect Evaluations
Metallurgical Age Dating
Mold Causation
Natural Disasters/Weather
   Related Issues
Nuclear Energy
Occupational Hazards
   & Illness

Piping Failure
Playground Equipment Injuries
Product Failures

Risk Engineering
Roofing Problems & Failures
Safety Codes
Safety & Human Factors
Scene Mapping and Photographs
Sick Building Syndrome
Sports Equipment Injuries
Standardized Codes
Steam Systems

Transportation Issues
Trips, Slips & Falls
Underground Storage Tanks
Utilities Expertise
Water Damage

Mission Statement

Our mission is to work as an extension of our clients to expeditiously achieve the most economically favorable resolution of claims on their behalf and on behalf of their insured. We have developed and will continue to create new solutions to the technical problems and issues which are facing the insurance industry today, as well as the insureds.  
Metropolitan provides forensic engineering work (age-dating or fingerprinting), site remediation, auditing, cost control and litigation support services to insurance carriers and to insureds.  In its risk management role, examines, manages and audits environmental claims to ensure that assessment and remediation services provided to both carriers and policy holders are reasonable and necessary, properly rendered and appropriately charged. 

In its litigation support role, Metropolitan assists carriers, insureds and their counsel to ensure that litigious disputes are resolved fairly and reimbursement benefits are provided when appropriate.  The corporations service area includes the entire United States, with our corporate office located in Northern New Jersey.  The Firm's professional staff also travels regularly throughout the United States on assignment.

Forensics at Metropolitan

There are many issues associated with disputes over responsibility for cleanup. Who, what, when, where, and how chemicals were released can be investigated. The tools of forensic investigation include mathematical models, statistical models, fate and transport calculations, chromatography, lead isotope analyses, time of travel assessments, library search site characterization, tracer additives, and recently developed software applications.

Effective forensic project management should include an evaluation of multiple forensic tools based on site specific circumstances. The process of evaluation and the ultimate selection of the forensic tool are critical to a successful outcome. When project budgets allow, combining forensic methods for corroborative evidence can substantially strengthen your client’s position in an effort to prevent or support litigation. The effective forensic consultant must be well acquainted with an ever expanding list of analytical methods, environmental regulations, assessment procedures and remedial technologies.

The forensic field is one that utilizes a wide range of scientific tools to identify and characterize complex adverse environmental events. Some of the scientific disciplines involved in forensics include engineering principles (biological, physical and chemical), hydrology, lithology, geology, site history, site practices, mathematics, and statistics. These areas may be combined with technologies such as respiratory analyses, chromatography/mass spectrometry and chemical fingerprinting methods to answer complex questions with the ultimate goal of establishing responsibility for a particular event. Accurate, defensible forensic analyses are an essential component of any strategy that attempts to resolve the extent of the insurance or insured client responsibilities in the cleanup of contaminants.

Contact us online, via e-mail or call 973-897-8162 to learn more about our forensic, consulting or engineering services.

Property Damage Services at Metropolitan

Metropolitan assists property owners, claims professionals, businesses, and attorneys in   the assessment of the cause & origin (C&O), extent of damage and required restoration after pipe bursts, settlements, manufacturing and construction failures, fire, flood, earthquake, or storm damage.  Our teams of engineers have extensive experience in the many systems that make up a building including structural, mechanical and electrical systems.   We also have the necessary background to evaluate property damage to items such as communications towers or solar panels. We can help determine alternative, appropriate, and cost effective solutions for repair or restoration of any damaged property, both commercial and residential. 

Providing Competent, Expert and Objective Investigative Engineering and Consulting Services.
Our experts are multi-skilled, competent, and objective professionals who apply their analytical and common sense skills to reconstruct, determine the root cause, and document the events that give rise to property, casualty, and liability claims.  Thorough investigations and detailed measurements/research help us distinguish between pre-existing conditions and sudden and accidental losses.

Our investigations are:
·         Comprehensive & Accurate
·         Legible & Easy to Understand
·         Timely Performed
·         Delivered Quickly
·         Cost Effective
·         Clear & Concise
·         Developed by Professionals
·         Dependable
·         Our own uniform reporting system saves time and money.

Our Fast Track Investigation and Uniform Format Reporting systems allow us to conduct and deliver a comprehensive response to the assigned claim.  In most cases, we will obtain findings based on a site visit, visual observations, photographs, interviews, and field measurements.  Further investigations and testing will be provided upon request and approval by the client.
Forensic Investigation of Property Damage Claims
Metropolitan Consulting, Engineering & Forensics understands your need to complete a claim investigation accurately and efficiently as possible.  Whether it is accident reconstruction, damage due to environmental forces such as wind, water, hail, snow, tornado, etc.; fire origin & cause investigation or any other claim, the engineers at Metropolitan understand both you and your client want to resolve the claim.  The analysis you receive from Metropolitan will be accurate and complete, giving you the information needed in the claim adjustment and analysis.
Our services have extended beyond the forensic analysis phase into the remediation and repair phase of many large loss claims.  Upon the completion of the cause and origin (C&O) investigation, Metropolitan can provide our clients with complete working drawings and specifications needed to repair or rebuilt damaged buildings or other structures.  Metropolitan Consulting & Engineering’ staff possesses many-many years of experience in rehabilitation design, construction management, and project oversight to ensure the loss is restored in a timely and cost-effective manner without sacrificing quality.  Building code knowledge allows us to identify possible code upgrades as needed.  Metropolitan understands constructability and realizes making an insured whole goes beyond forensic investigation and design. We pride ourselves in providing practical solutions contractors can understand and follow.
At the forefront of available technology, we provide professionals and staff capable of handling a variety of engineering evaluations.  Our reports are clear, concise, complete and efficiently produced.  Our engineering objectives are achieved in an ethical manner consistent with the traditions and character of engineering professionals.

Contact us online or call 973-897-8162 to learn more about our property damage services.

Extensive Experience helping Sureties
Metropolitan also has extensive experience helping sureties fulfill their bond obligations resolve disputes after a contractor has defaulted.  This work includes the evaluation of contractor bid pricing, evaluation of the contractor’s ability to perform work, risk assessment, evaluation of termination, construction completion services, claim and litigation support services, loss recovery services, evaluation of payment bond claims, negotiation and settlement of payment bond claims, and construction defects investigation services.  Metropolitan has provided these services for commercial, development, educational, and assisted living projects.

Construction is a business fraught with risk.  Disputes over even the smallest of issues can quickly escalate, with crippling consequences to the project and the parties.  Over the years, the construction industry has developed various methods of contractually allocating the risk of project delay and disruption.  Some of these methods include liquidated damages provisions, "no damages for delay" clauses, mutual waivers of consequential damages, provisions that limit liability, claims notice provisions, and provisions addressing responsibility for the adequacy of the construction plans and specifications.  Parties frequently litigate the sufficiency of these risk-shifting efforts in conjunction with the underlying merits of delay and disruption disputes.
Construction Claims & Disputes
The most frequently encountered claims include:
1.            Construction Delay Claims
2.            Disruption and Loss of Labor Productivity Claims
3.            Design and Construction Defect Claims
4.            Force Majeure Claims
5.            Acceleration or Compression of the Schedule Claims
6.            Suspension, Termination and Default Claims
7.            Differing Site Conditions Claims
8.            Change Order and Extra Work Claims
9.            Cost Overrun Claims
10.         Unacceptable Workmanship or Substituted Material Claims
11.         Non-payment Claims (stop notice (or Notice to Withhold) claims, mechanics’ lien (only for private construction projects) and payment bond claims)

Forensic Engineering Experience Case Studies

Metropolitan staff has developed and utilized scientific methods to assist clients in a variety of ways related to their claim issues. The following is a partial list of such projects:
  • Provided expert witness services for plaintiff seeking remediation of contaminated groundwater that caused indoor air inhalation problems;
  • Testified that engineering and scientific evidence was improperly collected and analyzed and was inadequate to show the age of the release;
  • Origin and cause of retaining wall failures.  
  • Lightning damage to structures or electrical systems and equipment
  • Roof failure or collapse as a result of accumulated load, additional weight and snow drift at hundreds of commercial and residential properties.
  • Demonstrated that solvents in groundwater at client's property originated from off-site dry-cleaner and that client's site actually provided remediation for the off-site release of dry cleaning solvent;
  • Expert witness for property owner impacted by industrial waste disposal from industrial manufacturer;
  • Demonstrated that environmental analysis by a previous consultant for a manufacturing site was inadequate; as a result, the lender's concerns were alleviated and financing proceeded;
  • Chemical "age-dating" and contaminant transport analyses of petroleum in groundwater at a gas station showed that contaminants originated from other parties;
  • Age-dated petroleum release at a former gas station to show that the previous owner of the gas station caused groundwater contamination;
  • Age-dated petroleum releases at an industrial facility to show that the on-site plume was the result of an off-site source;
  • Prepared age-dating reports for over one-hundred residential fuel oil spills;
  • Assisted insurance companies attorneys in defending subrogation claims; was able to demonstrate that the forensic data collected by the first party consultant were collected and analyzed using invalid methods;
  • Demonstrated that structural damage to a residence was from a source other than the alleged high lake level
  • Collected evidence (for the primary responsible party) that identified other responsible parties to share in the cost of a Superfund cleanup;
  • Review of the site data at a bulk petroleum facility indicated that the site releases were not the result of regular oil transfer operations and that they were caused by the negligent actions of the insured’s agents; the case was settled in favor of the insurance company;
  • Was able to demonstrate that the majority of the removal actions at petroleum release sites were neither reasonable nor necessary; as a result of our opinion, the insurance client settled the claim in favorable terms;
  • At several drycleaner sites we were able to demonstrate that the age of the release was much earlier than the parties originally believed; as a result, the insurance client settled the claim at a fraction of the alleged liability;
  • We performed numerous flood and wind damage assessments at commercial and residential properties.
Contact us online or call 973-897-8162 to learn more about our forensic engineering services.

Site Remediation Services

 Characterizing and remediating contaminated sites involve some of the most complex and difficult issues for environmental lawyers and their clients. Problem areas include responding to regulators; negotiating enforcement settlements; negotiating or litigating cost allocation and recovery claims; working with the insurance client or the insured or responsible party, lawyers and regulators to develop efficient, cost-effective remediation approaches; and selling, buying, or developing contaminated properties.

Metropolitan staff has developed and applied an innovative approach to the use of sodium persulfate for the sequential in-situ treatment of subsurface contaminants through chemical oxidation followed by enhanced biological degradation through sulfate reduction. This approach has broad applicability to a wide range of contaminants, and shows strong cost-saving benefits through reducing the initial volume of chemical oxidant necessary and enhancing the in-situ biological degradation of contaminants.

Through proper subsurface geochemical characterization and chemical dosing design, the approach focuses on utilizing the oxidant for immediate mass reduction at the source area, followed by degradation or polishing of the residual contamination using sulfate reducing bacteria.  Depending upon the oxidant activation method, this approach is applicable to petroleum hydrocarbons including both volatiles and PAHs, chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) including chlorinated ethene, ethane and methane groups, as well as PCBs.

Contact us online or call 973-897-8162 to learn more about our Site Remediation Services.

Vapor Intrusion and Indoor-Air Studies

Vapor intrusion has received increased attention over the last few years near contaminated sites because some contaminants have the potential to migrate into nearby buildings and negatively affect indoor air quality. The accumulation of these volatile vapors in buildings can result in significant safety and health concerns.
To properly evaluate vapor intrusion a thorough evaluation of the building's ventilation system and subsurface conditions needs to be conducted by a knowledgeable professional in accordance with state and federal established procedures. 
The evaluation process typically includes a thorough building chemical inventory, the advancement of soil gas probes and the collection of soil gas samples. When indoor air quality problems are identified they can normally be resolved through the modification/installation of a properly designed ventilation system.
Metropolitan is well experienced with U.S. EPA and State vapor intrusion investigation techniques. We have completed numerous vapor intrusion and indoor air quality studies at commercial and residential properties. We have the experience to identify and resolve indoor vapor intrusion problems and the practical know-how to resolve indoor quality issues in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Contact us online or call 973-897-8162 to learn more about our Vapor Intrusion and Indoor Air Studies.

Metropolitan Engineering, Consulting, Forensics, and Environmental Remediation Services
Consulting, Remediation and Forensic Expert Engineers
P.O. Box 520
Tenafly, New Jersey 07670-0520
Ph.: (973) 897-8162
Fax: (973) 810-0440

Contact: Dr. Bill Stephan, PhD, PE, CIH, MBA, JD

Insurance claim examiners, insurance adjusters, insureds, private individuals or public companies and risk managers use Metropolitan for determining cause, evaluating the extent of damage, determining the age of the release, separating unrelated damage, analyzing loss scopes and managing restoration data, determining costs to repair, restore or replace, and preparing for insurance appraisals.

Attorneys call on Metropolitan for help when preparing for Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution such as arbitration and mediation