Asphalt Industry Expert

for Damages Lawsuit

The need

Attorneys defending a marine terminal against a lawsuit brought by a petroleum company needed an asphalt industry expert to make their case. The lawsuit, demanding millions of dollars in damages, alleged that the defendant breached a contract by refusing to pay for the cleanup of several thousand tons of spilled liquid asphalt despite being responsible for the materials while storing them and receiving insurance payments to cover the loss. Allegedly, the asphalt was damaged when it was released from a ruptured storage tank. The asphalt then caught fire amid efforts to recover it and pump it back into the storage tank. As such, the ideal expert would need to be able to evaluate the damage done to the asphalt in the fire and determine if it was commercially reasonable to recover it and sell it.

Our approach

We understood from conversations with the clients that they already had an expert in chemistry and metallurgy that determined the asphalt was not suitable for recovery and the asphalt industry expert was intended to confirm this opinion. As expert reports were due within a month, we quickly went to work to find the best expert.

The expert

We found an expert who had worked for 30+ years in the asphalt pavement industry, and had experience evaluating asphalt and bonding. He was an executive at a consulting firm specializing in asphalt materials, materials evaluation and forensic evaluations. Additionally, he had held several roles at a government highway administration organization as well as authoring over 50 publications on asphalt and pavement issues. Finally, he had been retained as an expert witness in many litigation matters, had been deposed and had testified several times in non-patent cases. The case was dismissed.