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Expert Witness in Electrical Engineering

Sample Cases

Following is a summary of the cases in which Mr. Lehman has provided litigation support, expert witness testimony or proximate cause determination: 

  • A sailboat mast comes into contact with overhead primary power lines located over a recreational water crossing, electrocuting and killing the boater. Utility fusing misoperates causing back-up circuit recloser to operate multiple times. Utility was found to be negligent in maintaining clearances across navigable waters.
     
  • Electrocution from fallen power line: Resident is electrocuted and killed when he steps barefoot onto a downed, energized conductor laying on his front yard property. A dump truck had caught and contacted a power line when its dumping bed is left in the upright position. The mechanical stress on the pole line causes short-circuits and two overhead conductor to fail; circuit recloser is alleged to have misoperated. Accident reconstruction was successfully performed, the root cause of the failure was determined (a connector that was improperly installed had caused overheating and melting of the fallen conductor), and the technical merits of the case was won for the Plaintiff against a major utility company.
     
  • Property damage is alleged to have occurred in a homeowner's residence, coincident with a distant failure of a electric utility company's facilities. A primary high voltage line falls and comes into contact with an "underbuilt" lower primary voltage line, and is alleged to have induced high voltage into a residence. It was proved that induced voltage would not have caused the damage claimed by homeowner.
     
  • During a distant fault on a circuit serving a major newspaper printing plant, a sectionalizer was thought to have misoperated. It was proved that the sectionalizer worked correctly, relieving utility company of any culpability.
     
  • A worker for a national tree trimming company receives injuries from making electrical contact with high voltage line with a broken and downed (yet energized) neutral, while working from an insulated aerial lift truck. (Neutral had broken and fallen onto trees). Plaintiff was shown conclusively to have been negligent in not following safe work practices.
     
  • An overloaded extension cord (not sized for the job intended and in poor shape) installed in home residence causes fire.
     
  • A fire is thought to be caused by faulty portable heater in residence. Plaintiff was shown to be negligent. (Plaintiff had actually stuffed a pair of pants into heater!)
     
  • An industrial facility fire occurs when a utility company changes a transformer fuse. Facility had defective breaker which caused the fire (The utility was proven not to be negligent).
     
  • A primary voltage underground cable comes into contact with secondary cables causing electrical damage to residence. Plaintiff awarded significant damages (Major utility company loses case.)
     
  • Accident reconstruction to determine clearances on utility pole after truck comes into contact with overhead conductors. Pole had been removed and it was necessary to determine Sag & Tensions and Clearances using the length of the pole and measuring distance between hardware mounting holes and burial depth.
     
  • Alternate design routes (within NESC Code compliance) for direct buried underground cable are determined for cost comparisons in Eminent Domain Condemnation case. Successfully challenged the quoted cost of relocating electric utility lines.
     
  • Fire Investigation (with an insurance company) and Accident Reconstruction performed to determine electrical origin of fire in a tire retread plant.
 

 
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