Sample Cases

Forensic Mold Investigation
The plaintiff, a nationally famous TV personality was suing ($20M) several parties for mold in his home. The assignment was to do a walkthrough of the home and assess the areas to be investigated, and then based on the observations made during the walkthrough, to perform forensic deconstruction under negatively pressurized containments to test throughout the home. The results of the investigation were multiple water intrusion issues, (unrelated to the original restoration), which had been and were contaminating the home, thereby preventing the initial restoration project from passing a damages repair clearance test.

Water Intrusion
A hotel suffered extensive water damage during several storms. The company hired to do the drying was submitting an invoices for over $750K for the emergency services/structural drying and sued the owner over payment issues. The assignment was to analyze the documents in the case file and perform site visits to determine what the actual cost should have been and determine whether or not the restoration contractor followed the industry standard of care. We were able to determine, using the equipment records and psychrometric data that had been collected, that the contractor did not follow industry standards and that the proper scope of work should have been less than $200K.

Construction Building Defects
A group of homes in an upscale development of million dollar plus homes were experiencing water intrusion through the building envelope. The builder (a large national homebuilder) and a major water resistant barrier manufacturer both denied responsibility. Our assignment was to determine the mechanisms through which the water was penetrating the building envelope and document them. We were also tasked with determining who was responsible for the water intrusion and determine the appropriate damage repair estimates. The builder and the manufacturer eventually settled for an amount satisfactory to the plaintiffs that would enable them to have the entire cladding (stucco exterior) replaced.

Mold Making Occupants Ill?
The plaintiffs had recently purchased a $3M home overlooking the ocean. The home was purportedly new (the builder had lived there during the construction and for a period after). During the buyers’ search for a home they had refused to consider any home for purchase that had disclosed a previous mold or water intrusion issue. Within one month of moving in, the mother and small child, who both had multiple chemical sensitivity, were extremely ill, with rashes over most of their bodies. The interior of the home appeared to be new and showed no visible signs of water intrusion of damage that would indicate the presence of mold. Our assignment was to discover what, if anything, in the home was making the clients ill, and then to determine the protocol for repair as well as the associated costs. We were also tasked with making a determination regarding the responsibility of the builder, regarding the mold issue. Through destructive testing, under engineered negative containments, our investigation uncovered multiple defects, which facilitated water intrusion and resulted in water intrusion and mold growth. Furthermore, we determined that the builder had known of the issues and hid them, and that the real estate broker was complicit in the removal of disclosure statements from the escrow file.

Multistory Retail/Residential Building Leaking in West LA
The plaintiffs had just had the entire building repaired within the last five years to eliminate water intrusion issues, but residents were complaining of water intrusion during rain events. The assignment was to determine the extent of the water intrusion issues and the causes and render an opinion as to these issues. We were also tasked with providing cost estimates for the correction of these issues. The investigation including water testing various parts of the six-story building and performing destructive deconstruction of parts of both the exterior and interior to document the causes of the water intrusion. Infrared thermography played a large part in the documentation of the water intrusion through several rain events. In the end, the clients received a settlement sufficient to replace the entire stucco cladding on the exterior of the building.

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