CDLA Day of CLE Sessions

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA)
December 3, 2020

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA) presents a day of CLE Sessions co-hosted by Exponent on December 3, 2020. CDLA is a statewide Colorado organization that is nearly 800 members strong and is dedicated to the defense of civil actions and the promotion of fairness and integrity in the civil justice system. The organization is composed of attorneys who defend the interests of businesses and individuals in civil litigation. CDLA is host to five substantive committees whose focus is to develop ongoing and critical dialogue about areas of practice.

Michael E. Cundy, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI, Exponent managing engineer, will teach “Understanding Fires Using the Fire Tetrahedron” at 7:00 AM PT/8:00 AM MT. This course will begin with an overview of the fundamentals of fire investigations as described in the National Fire Protection Association 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. The fire tetrahedron (fuel, heat, oxidizing agent, and uninhibited chemical chain reactions) will be discussed in more detail, and examples will be given to assist in understanding their respective roles in thermal events.

Manuel Garcia-Leiner, Ph.D., Exponent senior manager, Michael D. Dimitriou, Ph.D., Exponent senior manager, and Jericho L. Moll, Ph.D., Exponent manager, will teach “Performance, Durability and Failure of Plastics in Building and Construction” at 8:00 AM PT/9:00 AM MT. The introduction of plastic materials into widespread use in the building and construction industry has resulted in products that are often lightweight, easy to install, and less expensive than their non-plastic counterparts. These attributes, among others, make plastic building materials an appealing option for contractors, architects, and designers. In this seminar, we will present several litigation case studies involving plastics in building and construction applications (e.g., decking, sealants, flooring, piping, windows, etc.) with focus on issues related to their formulation, manufacturing process, and other factors influencing their performance.

Young Bui, Ph.D., Exponent managing scientist, will teach “A Human Factors Approach to Understanding Warnings Effectiveness and Compliance” at 9:00 AM PT/10:00 AM MT. When it comes to product-related injuries, one common recommendation is that manufacturers warn users about all the potential risks associated with their product. While providing warnings may be well-intentioned, and oftentimes required, they are seldom effective at enhancing the safety of a product. In this presentation, we will discuss some of the science behind warning development and compliance. In doing so, we will introduce general human factors principles that influence the impact warnings may or may not have on product safety.

Kaitlin Spak, Ph.D., P.E., Exponent senior managing engineer, and Alix de Pannemaecker, Ph.D., P.Eng, Exponent senior associate, will teach “Engineering Analysis for Product Recall Decisions” at 10:00 AM PT/11:00 AM MT. Litigation often relies on engineering cause determination for an accident, but how do you know what the true cause of an event is? Learn how to identify direct, contributing, and root causes and how technical experts applied these concepts in case studies for litigation support and corrective actions.

Paul Bennett, P.E., CBIE, Exponent principal engineer and office director, will teach “Defending Single Family Home Construction Defect Claims” at 1:00 PM PT/2:00 PM MT. With the decline in multi-family, or large single-family HOA, construction defect litigation in recent years there has been an increase in single-family home claims. This course focuses on tools for defending these claims. These claims can be challenging as often the defects and damages are not well defined. Often, the Plaintiff expert reports are poorly developed, or the Plaintiff’s expert is the contractor who finished or repaired the construction. Assigning damages and settlement values to these claims can be difficult as well as working with the insurance carrier to authorize a settlement.

Nathan P. Mayercsik, Ph.D., P.E., Exponent senior engineer, will teach “Concrete: A Primer” at 2:00 PM PT/3:00 PM MT. Concrete has been used successfully for two millennia, yet problems still arise, leading to costly litigation. This course presents an overview of concrete as a material and issues to consider in construction defect disputes.

Charles J.R. Coccia, Ph.D., P.E., Exponent senior engineer, will teach “Soil & Rock Sampling and Testing” at 3:00 PM PT/4:00 PM MT. This session offers a crash course on investigation options, sampling techniques, laboratory testing, and how these activities may assist in building movement investigations.

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