Round Table Group recently invited John Lavin, CCM, Director of Forensic Services at AccuWeather For Business, to discuss and explain ways forensic meteorologists are used as expert witnesses in litigation.
The weather surrounds us and affects our daily lives. In some cases, the weather could have been a factor in a lawsuit. Forensic meteorologists are being relied on more as expert witnesses in weather-related cases. Forensic meteorology is a reconstruction of the weather at a particular time and place using the latest science in meteorology.
Our forensic meteorology team at AccuWeather For Business has been retained by both plaintiff and defense parties in numerous cases. For example, we have been involved in a variety of insurance-related cases such as bad faith claims, breach of contract, and insurance fraud. A forensic meteorologist is retained when disputed facts to hazardous weather conditions, such as hail occurrence, may or may not have caused a covered insurance loss. AccuWeather For Business also provides business-to-business weather solutions in the supply chain industry, including various forensic services.
Recently, there have been several disruptions to the supply chain industry, including COVID-19 shutdowns, blockage of the Suez Canal, and extreme cold weather over Texas in February 2021. Our team of forensic meteorologists can determine if and when disruptive weather conditions began and ended along a route. These facts can assist with determining if the weather was a contributing factor to a logistical delay or not. Furthermore, our team has the expertise to opine on the frequency of extreme weather events, such as the extremely cold temperatures in Texas.
In the information age, there are many free sources of weather information online. However, this data is often misinterpreted, prone to errors, and irrelevant to a location of interest. For example, in a recent investigation for an insurance claim, wind data from a home weather station was retrieved from a free weather website by an engineering firm. The station only measured up to 11 mph winds on the date of loss. However, the home weather station was installed only a few feet off the ground and placed directly next to a home. These conditions do not meet the quality-controlled standards meteorologists need to evaluate and measure winds.
It turns out a localized thunderstorm produced much greater winds, specifically at the loss property, as determined by a trained meteorologist who interpreted the archived weather radar data and quality-controlled surface wind observations. A forensic meteorologist can gather all relevant and reliable data and formulate, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, their expert opinion of the weather conditions at a particular time and place.
If you need a weather expert, please reach out to Round Table Group. To learn more about AccuWeather For Business, please visit https://business.accuweather.com/. To learn more about Round Table Group, please visit our website. or call (202) 908-4500.
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Great forensics expert witnesses are in high demand, as many cases — both civil and criminal — require the collection and analysis of evidence for investigative purposes. Our forensics experts have worked at multiple levels of law enforcement, at large accounting firms, with the CDC and FDA, and at various other private and public institutions. Experienced providers of forensic expert testimony at all court levels, they also have lectured extensively, including before the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice. Our forensic experts have worked as criminal lawyers, financial investigators, toxicologists, pharmacologists, physicians, psychiatrists, and more.
Insurance is a contract, or policy, that provides the insured with financial protection and reimbursement for their losses by an insurance company in return for a premium payment. Insurance companies combine their client’s risks to make premiums more affordable for the insured. There are many different types of insurance.
The weather can affect the lives of thousands of people. Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere focusing on atmospheric changes and weather patterns. Observable weather phenomena are clarified and explained by the science of meteorology. Meteorologists use scientific principles to forecast the weather, explain the relationship between the atmosphere and climates, oceans, and biological life.
Weather is the Earth’s atmospheric conditions at a specific time and place. These atmospheric conditions are constantly changing. Severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding can destroy homes and businesses, damage crops, cause billions of dollars in damage, and lead to a large loss of life.