Snow and ice melting into a puddle during the beginning of spring season

A Weather Expert’s Area of Expertise

A weather expert provides more value than just reconstructing the weather conditions for your case. Many times opposing weather experts have the same weather analysis but their opinions and conclusions vary depending on what evidence was reviewed. In one such case CompuWeather was hired by an attorney defending a firehouse that was being sued for allegedly not fulfilling their obligation to keep their parking lot free and clear of ice. The plaintiff alleged to have slipped and fallen and sustained injuries as a result of snow and ice that was present on the date of the incident at the firehouse, and was holding them liable for the injuries.

CompuWeather‘s report and the plaintiff’s expert’s analysis of the weather conditions for the date of incident and the days prior were very similar. However, plaintiff’s expert opined that the cause of the ice that the plaintiff slipped on was the result of water that pooled in the area from a rainstorm that occurred 4 days prior to the date of the incident. The plaintiff’s weather expert further opined that this water froze when the subsequent temperature dropped below freezing. Although CompuWeather’s expert agreed that this was a plausible theory, CompuWeather’s expert explained that a weather expert cannot render this opinion without additional supporting evidence, but there was none. Supporting evidence would have been testimony that the area was sloped and water generally pooled in this area after a rainfall, or an expert engineer’s analysis showing that the area was sloped with a substantial depression at the location of the fall.

CompuWeather testified that there was rain 4 days prior to the date of loss and the temperature was favorable for any standing water to freeze. However, based on the legal case documents, the area could have just as easily been level as it could have had a depression where the fall occurred. Further, if this were the case, the rainwater would have evaporated before having a chance to freeze into ice. After hearing all of the testimony in the case, the jury found in favor of the defense.

Give CompuWeather a call at 1 (800) 825-4445. Speak with our Certified Consulting Meteorologists and see how their expertise can add value to your legal case or claim.

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