When unfortunate events occur, there is often a range of contributing causes, but perhaps only one trigger event. ESP is frequently required to act as Expert Witness, where our forensic contribution clarifies relationships between causes, triggers, and events.
We have been vital in assisting legal teams on a range of cases including geotechnical, contamination and flood assessments.
Earth Science Partnership has developed a particular reputation for providing specialist Expert Witness Work to, insurers, structural engineers and loss adjusters to and has completed over 100 assessments of property subsidence problems including the design of underpinning schemes where appropriate.
Project Example: Expert legal witness at an inquiry into the activation of a landslip
ESP was retained as experts to undertake an assessment to establish causes of an activation of a landslip in the Swansea Valley in South Wales. Our numerical assessment included a review of the predicted effect of the installation of a water main, which was recently installed.
Using our considerable experience in land movements, particularly in the Welsh Valleys, our evidence became key to the successful agreement of responsibility between the parties in question.
Other projects completed and on-going include the following:
- Controlled grouting for a new power station at Das Island, Arabian Gulf. This is geologically a salt dome comprising a highly cavernous and actively dissolving mixed of rocks and salt in a marine environment. The power station generator turbines were highly sensitive to settlement.
- Investigation, design and supervision of remedial grouting beneath an active trunk road for Welsh Assembly Government.
- Assessment of alternative (reinforced earth load transfer platform) to grouting beneath and active trunk road for Welsh Assembly Government. Grouting would have been unacceptably intrusive and disruptive.
- Oversight of some 50 remedial grouting contracts in mining areas of South Wales.
- Investigation of critical subsurface geological conditions impacting on construction works and development of ground modelling software (used for design of the Second Severn Crossing).
- Investigation and remedial works to Dubai Dry Dock (the largest in the world) where percolating sea water was dissolving rock minerals and causing unacceptable settlement.
- Design / assessment of deep excavations at Kidsgrove, Staffordshire and Scunthorpe.
- Soil structure interaction studies for some 20 major structures associated with upgrading the A406 London North Circular.
- Soil structure interaction studies for Category 3 Highways checks in Hull.
- Design of deep excavations and embedded pile retaining walls in London.
- Advice on refurbishment of listed buildings with deep basement structures and buried alluvial deposits (e.g. Cardiff Coal Exchange).
- Consultant to Welsh Assembly Government, assessing design submissions for major highway schemes.
- Undertaking an Independent Inquiry for Welsh Assembly Government into a landfill which had been closed as a result of public protest. This involved a meticulous review of site investigation and design decisions taken.
- Technical support for the Cardiff Bay Barrage Parliamentary Inquiry, including a state of the art review of experience from London on impact of rising ground water.
- Advice to solicitors and their clients on a range of issues including civil cases, building damage from construction works and prosecutions for environmental crime.
- Main technical expert witness for the 2007 Public Inquiry into Project Riverside – a council promoted scheme to redevelop the Merthyr Vale colliery site associated with the Aberfan disaster.
- Advice to Local Authority on preparing an abatement notice with regard to impact of ground instability on property.