FORENSIC CASES

When construction goes wrong or you are falsely accused, we do the forensic work. We are experts and testify in court.

OUR FORENSIC STRATEGY IS SIMPLE:

We stick with the facts
We simplify the core issues
We help you get to the root

CHI vs DEAD EYE ENTERPRISES. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. September 2019. We conducted a site review and wrote a 24 page report describing standard of care and code compliance after the contractor walked off the job. We had to rebuild the costs estimates to establish line item values and compare this to value received. This was to determine whether the contractor was owed money or had been overpaid. This case is pending. The Plaintiff attorney was Eric Hanson of Pullman, Washington.

CARTER vs PICA CONSTRUCTION. Retained by Defendant, contractor. July 2019. We conducted a site review in response to a NORA letter. The issues were surface water, drainage and code compliance. We established the facts in a 5 page report. This case is pending. The Defendant’s attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

MAY vs HAZELTON CONSTRUCTION (R&B LOGGING). Retained by Plaintiff, property owner. May 2019. This case involved serious structural issues, code compliance and standard of care on a pole barn. We wrote a 14 page report with costs to correct. We also compared how much the contractor was paid against the value received and cost to repair. This case is pending. The Plaintiff Attorney was Art Macomber of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

VILLA vs VIKING BUILDERS LLC vs NORTHWEST MASONRY ENTERPRISES. Retained by Third Party Defendant, subcontractor. April 2019. This case involved standard of care and code compliance against a subcontractor. We conducted a site review and consulted regarding code compliance and costs to repair. This case is pending. The Third Party Defendant’s attorney was Patrick Harwood of Spokane, Washington.

CAETANO vs BILL’S HEATING. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. April 2019. We visited the site and wrote a 14 page report describing damages to the Plaintiff’s home caused by the contractor. We did a cost analysis of the repairs, which was over $40,000. The insurance company wanted to pay half and they hired another expert who tore up our report with emotional arguments and ad hominem attacks, in hopes to achieve this goal. We countered this report with facts and, with a 6 page supplemental, demonstrated how he had hacked at the costs. We stood by our costs against a seasoned insurance adjuster. The case settled with full payment for our client within a couple weeks. The Plaintiff attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

HUFFMAN vs CAMPBELL & CAMPBELL LLC. Retained by Defendant, contractor. June 2019. This is a case involving standard of care and code compliance on a 1.6M house. Plaintiff retained an expert, Brian Daniels, who described this exotic home as a complete shambles. He backed up his entire report with twisted interpretations of the building code, several times stating what he thought the code should be, where the code fell short of his standards and other emotional arguments. We wrote a 47 page report defending the facts. The Plaintiff’s expert re-wrote his report (73 pages) and we supplemented with a 53 page report. Five weeks later, the case settled in favor of our client, Campbell. The Defendant’s attorney was Mark Orler of Boise, Idaho.

CHASE vs DAVID FINLEY CONSTRUCTION. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. April 2019. This case involved standard of care, structural code compliance and licensing problems. We wrote a 21 page report. This case is still pending. The Plaintiff’s attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

GRUNDIN vs HELMUTH CONSTRUCTION. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. March 2019. Standard of care issues with drywall, tile and cabinet installation. There were code issues with stair supports, stair handrail, stair treads and risers. We wrote a 15 page report. This case is still pending. The Plaintiff attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

MANWILL vs WILD HORSE INVESTMENTS LLC. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. February 2019. We conducted a site review for issues related to standard of care and code on this upscale home. There were moving floors, lack of positive connections at point loads, extensive concrete spalling and cracking, unsecured handrails and such. We wrote a 17 page report and a 6 page supplemental report. This case is still pending. The Plaintiff attorney is Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

CANDOR CONSTRUCTION LLC vs SCHNEIDER. Retained by Defendant and Third-Party Claimant Schneider, homeowner. January 2019. We conducted a site review for standard of care and damages from negligent work. We reviewed the project management to address excessive cost overruns and lengthy schedule delays. We wrote a 22 page report. This case is pending. The Defendant attorney is Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

DEWEY vs BLACK DOG BUILDERS. Retained by Plaintiff, homeowner. September 2018. We conducted a site review and found incomplete and poorly executed work. We estimated costs to bring the work up to code and workmanlike condition. We wrote a 10 page report. The case settled shortly in our client’s favor. The Plaintiff attorney was Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

4 SISTERS vs ANDERSON. Retained by Defendant Anderson, property owner. February 2018. We conducted a site review regarding this property line dispute. We estimated costs to cut the house and rebuild the removed portions elsewhere on the house and we estimated the costs to move the entire house to a new location in the property, including a new foundation. We wrote a 4 page report. This case is settled. The Defendant attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

CRANDALL vs MAIR BUILDERS, LLC. Retained August 2017 by Plaintiff Crandall. We conducted a site review and found excessive code violations (over 2 dozen), structural issues, fire and safety issues and siding problems. We wrote a 38 page report, including a cost report and a 2 page supplemental. This case is still pending. The Plaintiff attorney was Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

STINSON vs EAGLE RIDGE BUILDERS, INC. Retained August 2017 by Plaintiff, homeowner. We conducted site reviews and wrote reports assessing construction defects, which were mostly siding and structural issues. We wrote a 30 page report, a 14 page cost report and a 38 page supplemental report. This case is settled in our client’s favor. The Plaintiff attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

MATHEWS vs DAUM CONSTRUCTION. Retained July 2017 by Plaintiff, homeowner, to report on construction defects. The major defect being the exterior door ADA thresholds sloped to the interior and water was invading the home, under and over the sills. This case settled in February 2018 in favor of our client. The Plaintiff attorney was Scott Poorman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

JACKSON vs GREATER AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION. Retained May 2017 by Plaintiff, homeowner. We conducted a site review to assess the defects of the re-roofing project performed by Greater American. There were moisture, ventilation and mold problems. We also oversaw the tear-off, re-roof and mold mitigation later performed by another roofing contractor and a restoration contractor. We wrote a 9 page report and 6 page supplemental. This case settled in February 2018 in favor of our client. The Plaintiff attorney was Pat Harwood of Spokane, Washington.

ROBY vs TIMBERWOLF BUSINESS GROUP [16-2-02087-3, Spokane Superior Court]. Retained January 2017 by Defendant, contractor. We were hired, prepared for a site review, then the case settled in April, in our client’s favor. The Defendant attorney was Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

ROBINSON vs STORM MECHANICAL [CV-15-6999, Kootenai County District Court]. Retained October 2016 by Plaintiff, business owner. Robinson’s place of business was damaged by water caused by defendant Storm. She performed the restoration while also remodeling and sued Storm Mechanical. We reconstructed the costs necessary to restore the premises to the prior condition, without improvements. We have been deposed. We wrote an 8 page report and 4 page cost report. We wrote a 6 page supplemental and 5 more pages of costs. This case evolved into additional cases. The Plaintiff attorney was Arthur M. Bistline of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but it changed hands several times and we finally lost track of it. As of December 2019, we don’t believe it has ever gone to court.

THOMPSON vs LUKE JEANNERET CONSTRUCTION [13-200338-2, Stevens County Superior Court]. Retained October 2016 by Defendant, contractor. Thompson had retained Brian Daniels to review the construction performed by Jeanneret and the result was a shopping list of claims and emotional appeals. At the site, I was able to demonstrate to Thompson how several claims were outright false and I showed him how to perform normal homeowner maintenance on several items. In my report, I was able to boil the plaintiff’s expert’s claims down to the few that mattered. We wrote a 14 page report. This case settled in our client’s favor, March 2017. The Defendant attorney was Patrick Harwood of Spokane, Washington.

JJ’S CONSTRUCTION INC vs SKOCILICH. Retained May 2016 by Plaintiff, contractor. The homeowner refused to pay a substantial amount of money upon completion of their residence under the pretext several items needed correction; all the while refusing to allow the builders to return to correct. In our report, we analyzed the home for standard of care and unfinished work. We were able to demonstrate how these items were punch list in nature and there were not code violations, as claimed. We wrote an 11 page report. This case settled quickly in favor of our clients. The Plaintiff attorney was Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

HUTCHINSON vs UMPHREY, ET AL. Retained February 2016 by Plaintiff Hutchinson, injured. This was a slip-and-fall during a construction operation which took place in a retail store during the normal hours of operation. In our report, we evaluated the standard of care necessary to protect the public during construction operations. We wrote a 23 page report. This case was settled out of court. The Plaintiff attorney was Andrew Brassey of Boise, Idaho.

REED vs PRESERVE COLEMAN HOMES, LLC, [CV-OC-1423540, Fourth Judicial District, Ada County, ID]. Retained January 2016 by Defendant, contractor. We were hired to analyze what was wrong and who was responsible for the failure of a crawl access door which resulted in an injury. Armed with our report, this case was successfully settled out of court. The Defendant attorney was Nick Crawford of Boise, Idaho.

LEWIS vs RIVERBEND BUILDERS NW INC [15202019-1, Superior Court, Spokane County, WA]. Retained October 2015 by Defendant, contractor. The builder, Riverbend, was terminated by the homeowner. Raymond Harding (Elevate Construction Inc) was hired for completion and the costs skyrocketed from there. Claims against our client ranged from poor workmanship to code deficiencies. Raymond Harding was also the Plaintiff’s expert. We reviewed the construction at the site and wrote a 46 page report. We were deposed and went to trial. We testified to quality of workmanship, code compliance, unsubstantiated claims against the defendant and the business practices of Plaintiff’s replacement builder. The result was a unanimous jury in favor of our client, 24 April 2017. The Defendant attorney was Todd Startzel of Spokane, Washington.

“Todd had the opportunity to speak with some of the jurors and wanted to relay to you some of their comments regarding your testimony. They said they liked you very much, you came across very well, explained things in a great way, believable, and knowledgeable. Thanks again for all your assistance. On behalf of our office and Mr. Rice, all your work was greatly appreciated.” Kirkpatrick and Startzel [re Lewis v Riverbend Builders], April 2017.

 

Ed Rice said, “I can’t thank him enough for his help.”

STELLA FARM vs EAGLE RIGID SPAN and QUALITY FENCING & CONSTRUCTION [CV2013-01379, District Court, Bonner County, ID]. Retained October 2015 by Defendant Eagle Rigid, manufacturer. Stella Farm claimed damages from the collapse of a horse arena against the manufacturer of the building frame and the contractor who erected it. We wrote a report analyzing the standard of care in the installation of the frame by the contractor. We were also able to add some forensic insight from evidence found in the photos. We wrote a 32 page report and a 3 page supplemental. This case settled out of court. The attorneys for defendant (manufacturer) were Ryan Janis and Nick Crawford of Boise, Idaho.

MAHAFFEY vs ALPINE CONSTRUCTION [15203202-4, Superior Court, Spokane County, WA]. Retained October 2015 by cross-claimed defendant, MM Wood Works, subcontractor. There were issues of poor workmanship which became exaggerated. We were able to write a report identifying objectively items needing to be redone or replaced and put a cost value to it. With the clear picture presented in our 11 page report, this case settled out of court to the satisfaction of all parties. The Defendant attorney was Todd Startzel of Spokane, Washington.

TIMBLIN vs ST JOHNS PROPERTIES INC DBA SHADY REST [CV15-260, District Court, Kootenai County, ID]. Retained October 2015 by Defendant Shady Rest, building lessee. Plaintiff claimed injuries and other damages after stepping off a sidewalk and into a bay of water meters on Defendant’s property. Upon inspection of the property, we wrote a report outlining building code issues, general layout, measurements and descriptions. We wrote a 39 page report. This case settled out of court. The attorneys for defendant were Ryan Janis and Nick Crawford of Boise, Idaho.

CLANCY vs BESTWAY BUILDERS. Retained January 2015 by Plaintiff, homeowner. The Clancy home is beset with problems due to missing footers and concrete foundations and slabs poured in freezing temperatures without protection and other such problems. This was my second case going up against Brian Daniels, who basically twisted the code and made emotional arguments. This is case was settled in favor of our client. The Plaintiff attorney is Scott Poorman of Hayden, Idaho.

CURTIS LIVING TRUST vs ABC SEAMLESS HOME INC [13-2-00784-01, Superior Court, Benton County, WA]. Retained May 2014 by Defendant, contractor. Approximately twelve years earlier, ABC Seamless had replaced the exterior doors, windows and siding. This home had developed a serious case of mold. This was my first case going up against Brian Daniels, who began with the presumption ABC was the cause of the mold and built his case from this position. We were able to show why ABC was not the cause of the mold; identify the causes of the mold in the house; and demonstrate via the Plaintiff’s expert’s own pictures how he had missed the cause of the mold and overlooked the facts. We wrote a 25 page report. We testified at deposition in September 2014; the case was summarily dismissed for procedural reasons. The Defendant attorney was Ryan Poole of Spokane, Washington.

SPAIN vs BECKER [CV2013-00510, District Court, Latah County, ID]. Retained May 2014 by Defendant Becker. In 2011, M/M Spain hired a building contractor to build a horse barn on their property. There was no dispute some portions of the construction did not meet standard of care. However, the contractor’s attorney suspected the damages listed in the architect/expert witness report were enrichments to the property rather than corrections. We reviewed the construction documents and the architect’s report and were able to separate what items were needed to correct the situation and which items were improvements to the property. The attorney was able to use our 21 page report to successfully negotiate a substantially reduced settlement. The Defendant attorney was Todd Startzel of Spokane, Washington.

Prior to Spain vs Becker, we did not keep a complete listing of our cases. In the remaining list, there may be gaps.

HENDRICKSON vs UNDISCLOSED. Retained September 2011 by Plaintiff Hendrickson, homeowner. In 2010, Hendrickson hired a drive-by carport and garage construction company to build a large, three-bay carport in their backyard. The following year, the carport began to fall over. The company refused to make any corrections. We submitted a report noting the defective construction and the extensive work required to correct the situation and bring the carport to code. After, we submitted our report, Hendrickson’s attorney was able to negotiate the removal of the carport and a full refund of their expenses, including attorney fees. The Plaintiff attorney was Scott Poorman of Hayden, Idaho.

MUNRO vs ODLAND. Retained by Defendant (contractor). March 2001. This case involved standard of care issues. We were able to separate the drama from the facts. We wrote a 13 page report and 6 page cost report. After we were deposed, the case settled in favor of our client. Defendant attorney was Jeffrey Herman of Seattle, Washington.

RUSSELL vs TATE. Retained August 1999 by Plaintiff Russell. Approximately 1986, Tate installed a fence on the mutual property line and damaged the Russell’s sewer line in three locations. By 1999, the damage to the foundation and soils of the Russell home had become obvious. In Russell’s clumsy attempt to repair the sewer, he removed the fence and damaged the Tate driveway. Tate, using the numbers from an expert witness, sued for damages in excess of twenty thousand dollars. We were called in to confirm or refute the actual replacement costs to repair the damage to the Tate property and evaluate the damage to the Russell home. Our 10 page report documented a reasonable cost to repair the damage to the Tate property to be less than seven thousand dollars, including the installation of a retaining wall that did not exist before but somehow became important to this case. We also documented damages to the Russell property to be in excess of fifty thousand dollars. The case was settled out of court in our client’s favor. The Plaintiff attorney was Tamara Clower of Gig Harbor, Washington.

LOMBARDI vs CLAUSEN. Retained June 1999 by Plaintiff, homeowner. In the late 90s, Lombardi purchased a home from Clausen in an exclusive, yet older, area adjacent to Bellevue, Washington. The home was infested with molds, mildew and bugs. The house was inspected prior to closing but none of this damage was reported to the purchaser. We found key evidence that demonstrated prior knowledge and concealment on the part of the seller. With our report, the client was able to work out a satisfactory settlement with the seller’s insurance company. The Plaintiff attorney was Jeffrey Herman of Seattle, Washington.

MALONE vs ARNE’S CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES INC. Retained March 1999 by Plaintiff, homeowner. In the late 90s, Malone hired Arne’s Construction Enterprises to remodel his home. This was a cost-plus remodel gone real bad. We discovered of the one-hundred forty thousand paid to the company, less than half had been expended for materials and labor. Of the invoices submitted by the construction company to document their costs, we found many items did not apply to the client’s project and many were duplicate billings. Armed with our 13 page report, the attorney for Malone was able to work out a settlement without filing a lawsuit. The Plaintiff attorney was Frederic Reed of Seattle, Washington.

PROFESSIONAL COATINGS INC vs DUWAMISH MANOR ASSOCIATION. Retained September 1998 by Plaintiff, lessee. According to the lease agreement, the landlord, Duwamish Manor Assoc., was responsible for structural and exterior maintenance. However, when the roof went bad, the landlord advised the lessee they were responsible for the replacement of the roof, citing their operations as a reason. We were hired by the plaintiff tenant to give an assessment of the roofing and the roof structure. We analyzed the effect of the operations on the roof and included other details that were critical to the negotiation between the landlord and tenant and submitted a report. After reviewing the report, the landlord decided to pay for the replacement of the roof. This case was referred to us by an attorney but there was no attorney involved.

LESLEY vs WILEY. Retained May 1998 by Plaintiff, homeowner. In the late 90s, Lesley purchased a waterfront home from Wiley, in Belfair, Washington. The entire floor system was bug infested and rotted. Our job was to assess the damages and estimate the cost to repair. We spelled out the extent of the damages and explained how we arrived at each cost. Armed with our report, the client was able to settle out of court, just prior to deposition, for ninety percent of our projected costs. The Plaintiff attorney was Jeffery Herman of Seattle, Washington.

WONG vs HYSKELL. Retained October 1997 by Plaintiff, investor. A dispute had arisen between business partners regarding a project that had begun twenty years earlier. Our job was to review all project receipts and assess the work completed on the project residence. We were able to successfully reconstruct the project on paper and determine which receipts went into the joint venture project and how much of the plaintiff’s money was used on other projects. The case went to court but settled when Dean Isaacson was called to testify. The case was settled entirely in our client’s favor. The Plaintiff attorney was Jeffery Herman of Seattle, Washington.

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