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Re: Texas engineer sued for roof/ stans post

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Andrew Kester wrote:


Not that you have all the details, but I want to see the forensic engineer or better yet, the attorney, that is able to prove what the wind speed velocity was at the moment of failure at that specific site. Also, even engineers who specialize in roofs really don’t really design anything, rather we specify systems (or in his case inspect) that are designed and/or tested by the manufacturers to building code minimums. I also understand Texas has some difficult for me to grasp free-for-all areas where they may not have such Code standards. In Florida, just about any manufactured product on a building has to pass testing and be on the qualified list and the get a Product Approval Number. If a shingle manufacturer or code says 6 nails per shingle is good for V=120mph, and that is what was done, then it met the minimum requirements and nobody may really be at fault. Plus, how do you prove there were no microbursts, tornadic activity, or other spikes in the average wind pressure. When I did work in MS after Katrina, sometimes the nearest weather data was taken 10+ miles away at a weather tower or military facility, and a lot of those devices failed...


Poor guy is going to have to hire a defense attorney though to get through that, or his E and O insurance will have to, which they will likely then increase his rates whether they pay it or fight it. Needs to get him a good forensic engineer with lots of roof experience, I know some that are licensed out there if this is a friend.


THAT SUCKS!!!!!!!  (no better verbiage I could come up with)


Andrew Kester, PE

Orlando, FL

That wouldn't be possible, of course, although there is published information culled from various sources that gives a pretty good profile of the maximum windfield scalar values, which would be "evidence."

For instance, according to those products, my home saw a maximum sustained wind of about 65 mph, and a 3-second gust of around 80 mph.

That SHOULD have been below the design threshold of my roofing system, but the roof was about 30% destroyed. But "proof?" Surely you jest.

Remember, though, that "proof" isn't needed by the attorney, only an argument that convinces the jury, should it go to trial. Most don't but settle out of court, and the material supplier and contractor's insurance usually pays something - of which the attorney happily takes his cut.

We engineers like to think in terms of facts. Attorneys think in terms of the probability of a positive outcome, and dollars in the bank. The facts really aren't all that important, except as a means to an end.
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