Sintra Engineering | Resolve Matters

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Sintra Engineering

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Large Loss Claims


Large losses resulting from failed components or equipment is always devastating and disruptive to the insured. While all property loss results in damage, large losses present significant challenges because they can result in plant down-time, loss of production, or personnel injury.

The first challenge for an investigator is that the equipment may be unusual or unique, or operating in a unique environment, requiring very specific knowledge of its design and operation. The investigation may require knowledge of or access to information regarding processes and limitations in that specific environment, as well as the equipment or systems it connects to.

Second, the investigation may require the participation of a number of specialists, the efforts of whom need to be coordinated and managed.

Third, the equipment owner’s priorities may conflict with the objective of the independent engineering investigation. Internal reliability engineers tend to be concerned with identifying the cause to make changes to process or equipment to mitigate future incidents. Conversely, the forensic engineer is primarily looking to identify the cause to assist in the resolution of liability.

Sometimes our clients require an independent oversight of repair work resulting from the failure, and so occasionally our investigations transition into a Project Management role. Here the role of the engineer is to provide due-diligence for the client to assist in defining an agreed repair workscope that is acceptable to all parties, and ensure that the project is completed to schedule and on-budget.

All of these issues result in an investigation that might take months or even years to complete. Familiarity on the part of an engineering expert with industrial equipment and processes, sensitivity to the agendas of the various parties involved, and knowing how to manage the often long and multi-faceted investigation is key to successfully assessing liability and identifying subrogation issues.


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