Litigation Expertise

Metallurgical Consulting has experience in litigation for plaintiff and defense cases since 1980. Testimony has been given in reports, deposition, and trial in state and federal courts. Cases have involved personal injury and industrial damage issues.

Each case is first reviewed for technical merits before proceeding into a more in depth study. (Years of experience help this evaluation.) An honest, up front evaluation will be made and presented to let the client know the technical merits of the case.

Metallurgical Consulting offers more than metallurgy and materials expertise for litigation. A strong background and experience in stress analysis, fracture mechanics, and corrosion provides the ability to provide an engineering analysis and reconstruction of many failures. Engineering failure reconstruction is not the same as automobile accident reconstruction in which special computer programs are utilized to recreate vehicle and occupant dynamics. Engineering failure reconstruction involves design stress calculations in conjunction with fracture surface analysis. It can also involve review of operating records in industrial accidents for stress inputs. The result is an opinion on how the accident occurred and to what extent there were extenuating circumstances such as true defects or exceeding design limit. This approach strives to use more than one way to perform the analysis of the problem. Independent approaches with the same conclusion are powerful evidence. (See article on tree stand failures.) This approach can address the issue of when a component failed; before and initiating the accident or as a result of the accident (see axle failure paper).

D. Clarke is the testifying expert. He has experience in writing thorough reports and defending them in deposition and trial. His goal is to provide solid engineering testimony in deposition thus to help in case settlement. He will work with the attorneys involved in the case to educate them on the technical issues and to help produce mediation and trial presentations of complex issues on a layman's level for the jury.

General areas of litigation case experience (multiple cases):

  • Pressure vessel failure reconstructions
  • Automobile component failures
  • Truck under ride bar failures
  • Tree stands for hunting
  • Heat exchanger failures
  • Maritime components
  • Corrosion issues
  • Fire related issues
  • Welds

There have also been numerous unique cases in which all of the materials and engineering expertise were used to develop an engineering opinion. Some cases involved non-metals. Others required full scale testing.

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