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Insurance and Legal:

Hopper Engineering Associates has been supporting insurers, adjusters and legal professionals since the early 1980's. Our team is qualified in Superior and Federal Courts as well as Administrative Law venues and Federal and State Regulatory Bodies. The company offers a diverse project history and team of experienced engineers.

Insurance and Legal Industry In Depth:

Hopper Engineering Associates provides multidisciplinary civil, structural, mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics support to insurers, adjusters and legal professionals. HEA provides answers to questions pertaining to failure causation, damages, repairs, and prevention. Our recommendations are objective and withstand rigorous scrutiny. HEA has technical experience investigating and evaluating a broad range of items including industrial facilities, and mechanical components. Our technical team's experience includes expert testimony in various courts of law.

The following project examples summarize our experience, however, are in no way comprehensive of our expertise. Please direct specific questions regarding project experience to David Hopper, Managing Principal.

Featured Projects:

Insurance and Legal ProjectsA contractor erected a steel bridge using the launch method. The bridge owner/designer became concerned about the bridge's structural integrity during the launch, and this concern became contentious. Our team independently evaluated the bridge launch sequence, identified specific code requirements and evaluated bridge member stresses and stability. Our analysis considered both static loads and launch dynamic effects. The results of our study demonstrated that the structural integrity of the bridge was maintained throughout the launch sequence.

Insurance and Legal ProjectsA large extraction steam line failed at an operating power plant forcing the plant to shut down. The plant owner retained HEA to determine whether the cause of the failure was related to faulty installation or construction. Our investigation included mechanical stress analysis, a steam flow evaluation and fracture mechanics analysis to pinpoint the cause of the failure. The cause of the failure was found to be the result of a changed steam flow regimen associated with a power modification upgrade.

Insurance and Legal ProjectsDuring construction of a new hospital, several cracked welds were observed and did not pass a required structural inspection. HEA was retained by a law firm on behalf of the contractor's insurance carrier to determine the cause and origin of the weld failures. The investigation included structural analysis, metallurgical evaluation, and a design review. The primary cause of the weld cracking was determined to be the result of a structural/weld design defect. HEA provided technical support throughout the litigation.

Insurance and Legal ProjectsA large warehouse collapsed during a snowstorm in Tacoma. Based on observations of damage to warehouse support posts, allegations were made that construction defects caused and/or contributed to the failure. HEA was retained to determine the primary and contributory causes of the failure. It was determined that the failure was the direct result of snow loads that exceeded the capacity of the structural framing. The anomalies observed in the warehouse support posts after the collapse were a result of the collapse, rather than its cause.

Insurance and Legal ProjectsA sprayer used for degreasing at a restaurant burst while in use injuring a worker. HEA was retained by the manufacturer's insurance carrier to determine the primary cause of the failure. Our evaluation included visual observation and documentation of the failed sprayer, nondestructive testing of the pressure relief valve on the failed sprayer, evaluation, testing, and analysis of exemplar sprayers and pressure relief valves, and materials testing.

Insurance and Legal ProjectsA hydraulic oil storage tank caught fire, which shut down a power plant. The root cause of the fire was attributed to collapse of an 8-inch stainless steel float ball used as a level indicator inside the hydraulic oil tank. HEA was retained by a law firm on behalf of the float ball manufacturer to determine whether the float ball failure caused or contributed to the hydraulic oil tank fire. Using mechanical stability analysis and thermodynamics, it was shown that the float ball collapse and the fire were coincidental.