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Cause of Loss Investigation for Apartment Complex Related to Storm Damage

An Accumyn expert provided in-depth analysis and critique of an apartment owner’s claim that a hail storm which purportedly had caused more than one million dollars damage to the property. The property owner claimed a total loss of all of the roofs, awnings and HVAC units. The plaintiff’s experts calculated the roofing values with very little depreciation and no allowance for any preexisting issues. John used historical aerial photography as well as historical weather data and other documents in the file to establish a proper valuation for the damage. Historical photography showed that the roofs had been in place for far longer than their useful lives and that even the poorly applied patches were more than ten years old. Physical damage to the rooftop HVAC units was not consistent and based upon the ages of the units, a window of time in which the damage must have occurred was established. Historical weather data showed that not only had the current storm only skirted the property, several previous storms had directly impacted the property and the dates of these storms correlated with the physical damage observed. The opposing expert provided a timeline that included the touchdown of a tornado several miles away as well as a 71mph gust of wind recorded at a nearby airport at around the same time the damage was reported to have occurred. Although the opposing expert’s sequence of events seemed to support the damage, it had not been looked at in detail. John reviewed the data and discovered that the opposing expert was using the time of loss provided by the owner, which was in Central Daylight Time, the weather observations from the local airport which were on Central Standard Time, and National Weather Service Data which was on Greenwich Mean Time. When John adjusted the times to one standard, it became apparent that the opposing expert had mistakenly sampled data from two different and unrelated storms and tried to interpolate the weather conditions at the subject property based on this flawed methodology. When confronted with John’s findings, he agreed the basis for his opinion was flawed. A favorable settlement was reached for the defendant.