Omnia Forensis Ingenariae 
"All Things Forensic Engineering"
News and Views for the Forensic Engineer
and Their Legal/Insurance Clients
Richard A. Rice, PE - Editor
Edition XXV - August 2018
Editor's Thoughts
Omnia Forensis Ingenariae is two years old!!! Thank you to all who take a few minutes each month to read about what interesting forensic engineering, legal, and insurance topics are available. It takes much work to put a monthly newsletter together. Again, thank you for your time.
National Professional
Engineers Day
A ugust 1st is National Professional Engineers Day. This is to celebrate that on August 8, 1907, Charles Bellemy received the first PE license in Wyoming. Licensed Professional Engineers are the only engineers who have made a commitment to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Remember this next time you think any ol' type of engineer will do.
The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) summer conference was recently held in Buffalo, NY. Many courtroom experienced forensic engineers provided presentations. Sample topics included:

  • Forensic Engineering Investigation of Failure of a
Large Propeller Shaft
  • Forensic Engineering Evaluation of Failed Adhered
  • Forensic Engineering Analysis of Apartment Freezing
Sequence Using Heat Flow Equations

For the Sunday afternoon session, two attorneys, an actual judge, and an actor portraying an expert witness put on a mock trial to teach the NAFE members actual courtroom tactics to employ and to watch out for. It was very educational.

NAFE members are Board Certified Expert Witnesses who are sought out nationwide. If you need Board Certified Expert Witness for your case, please contact Art Schwartz - Executive Director of NAFE at If you w ant to look into NAFE membership, Click Here .
If you are not on the mailing list, please click on "Join the Mailing List" to automatically receive the monthly newsletter and timely updates.  If you feel you have received this email by mistake, please see the bottom where you can remove yourself from the mailing list. 

Again, thank you. If you have suggestions for OFI, please email me any time. 


Richard A. Rice, PE
In the News...
Construction Law Myths...BUSTED!!!
A great article by an attorney on the common myths of construction law. A great read. Click Here.

The Dangers From Falls
From Occupational Safety & Health, we have a plain English explanation of the dangers and consequences of construction falls. This is a great source of information should you be putting together a fall protection case. Click Here.

PE's Could Be in Trouble for Designing Unpopular Things
At first glance of this article, you think that this is a joke. Professional Engineers are designing and stamping pipeline construction drawings that a group of environmentally minded people (EMP) don't like. This group believes that these PE's are violating their legal duty to protect life and property because these EMP's believe that pipelines hurt people. Interesting premise. Click Here

Flint, MI Health Director Charged with Manslaughter
A Yale graduate with BA degrees in Economics and Political Science (Nick Lyon) is on trial for manslaughter for making engineering decisions that killed 12 people in Flint, MI. Liberal Arts majors making engineering decisions kill people. This happens way too often. Click Here.

South African Scaffold Collapse Update
A large scaffold collapse in South Africa killed two and injured many others in October 2015. One of the engineers involved said,

" ... if he had to suggest remedial actions to prevent a similar event, he would have a professional engineer overseeing the design, including the temporary works as well as the sequencing of the construction.

In the United States, PE's are required to be involved in all structural aspects of a construction project. Click Here

Police are Not Engineers
The police should be respected for the work they perform while putting their lives on the line. However, they are not engineers and there are numerous examples of gaps in their mathematical/physics knowledge. The following article is an example of what happens when police do engineering. Click Here

Canadian PE Board Could be Violating Free Speech Rights
It should be noted that the OFI editor is not familiar with the constitution of Canada. However, there must be some protection from the government for citizens offering an opinion against a governmental entity. If you will recall, the Oregon PE board went after an engineer for expressing an opinion on a red light camera. Now a Canadian PE board is going after a retired engineer for expressing an opinion on the timing of the amber portion of a stop light. How does going after opinions protect public life and property? It does not!!! It is my opinion that the power of professional engineering boards must be greatly curtailed so as to maintain their original mission and promote commerce. Click Here.

Another Reason to Revamp Engineering/Surveying Boards
The Mississippi Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (Board) is suing a company named Vizaline. Visaline is a company that takes satellite pictures and overlays the publicly available legal descriptions (metes and bounds) of properties involved in land sales or other transactions. In short, Visaline draws polygons on satellite photographs. Banks and other financial institutions love this product because they do not need a pricey licensed land surveyor any more. The Board does not like this because they believe drawing polygons on a picture is surveying. The Board is kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Click Here.

Stage Collapse at Radiohead Concert in Canada - Common Tale
A stage to support lighting and other equipment for a Radiohead concert in Toronto collapsed in 2012 killing one and injuring several. From the Ontario Ministry of Labour we have their findings as:

  • The overall weight of the suspended roof grid system was miscalculated.
  • The construction did not follow the design.
  • Devices used to weigh stage components were insufficient.
  • Sixteen ballasts not installed correctly; three were not connected to any stage component.
  • No locking pins were installed in some upper sections of the scaffolding system.

Improper design, construction and inspection know no borders. Click Here .

How the Aussies Keep Their Expert Witnesses Out of Trouble
This is a great article about how the Australians prevent their expert witnesses becoming advocates. Click Here.

Difficult to Find Litigation Data Now Available
This is a great article about how a treasure trove of litigation data is now available about judges, attorneys, and expert witnesses. Click Here.

House Collapses from Long Term Water Leak - Really?
This has subrogation potential all over it. A three story rental home collapses and kills a woman. Her two daughters are injured in the collapse. An engineer who inspected the property post collapse opined that the cause of the collapse was chronic, long-term water penetration through the east side exterior wall (that) led to the extensive deterioration and crumbling of at least one course of block probably over a wide area. It is customary for landlords to inspect their properties on a regular basis. Did the inspections happen? Click Here.

Duck Boat Tragedy in MO - When Licensed Professional Engineers are Not Involved, People Die
Yes, weather has been a factor in most incidents involving Duck Boat tragedies. However, in the recent Missouri incident, it has been discovered that the Duck Boat was lengthened to service more customers per trip. It was designed by a non-engineer so no structural or buoyancy calculations were performed. Click Here.
Expert Referrals
I have the privilege to work with many great forensic experts in the United States, Asia and Europe in the fields of Accident Reconstruction, Electrical Failures, Mechanical Failures just to name a few disciplines. Please allow me to refer to you one of these court tested experts for your next insurance claim or legal matter. There is no charge to you. I do not get a finders fee from anyone. This is my way of helping you. Plus, I can help my Forensic Engineering colleagues. Please email me or call 404.395.7441.  

Note:  No warranties, expressed or implied, are made to the suitability of any expert referred to you. Do your homework to make sure you have the right expert.
...about the Editor
Richard A. Rice, PE is President and Forensic Engineer for Mutual Engineering, Inc. - MEI. Because of 30+ years of continuous civil/structural design services, and his early and continued exposure to his friends and families many construction businesses, Mr. Rice is uniquely qualified to provide Civil/Structural Forensic Engineering services to the insurance, legal, and construction industries. Services include building design and construction, roadway design and construction, building inspection and code compliance, building/foundation collapse, construction site incidents, and other property loss subjects. Mr. Rice is a licensed professional engineer in several states, and a Fellow and Board Certified Diplomate of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE). Mr. Rice has written a novel and numerous technical articles published in professional journals for NAFE, the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), and the Georgia Defense Lawyer Association (GDLA). Please call/email Mr. Rice or visit his company's webpage:

Richard A. Rice, PE - Civil/Structural Engineer
Mutual Engineering, Inc. - MEI
13009 Panhandle Road
Hampton, GA 30228
(Phone): 404.395.7441


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