This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with additional ammunition to attack subrogation claims involving fire losses.
The Gharda case involves a warehouse fire with a complex causation theory involving testimony from several experts, including two fire investigators, two chemists, and an electrical engineer. The fire investigators based their opinions on the opinions of the two chemists.
This recall involves Kaldi’s Coffee disposable paper cup sleeves used with 12- and 16-ounce paper cups. The black paper cup sleeves have the “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the company logo printed on the front, and “100% Recycled Paperboard” printed on the back.
Read the full article at CPSC
What is an E-Cigarette?
The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.
by Thomas P. Shefchick
Forensic electrical engineering is the practicalapplication of electrical engineering knowledge tolegal questions about electrical phenomena. Practicalelectrical engineering knowledge is obtained fromexperience in designing, installing, maintainingand repairing electrical devices, appliances, andequipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions,and court testimony are used to explain electricalphenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges,and juries. The area of practice extends from softwarefor computers to the generation and distributionof electrical power, which might be controlled bysoftware, and to consumer products.The electrical engineer explains how the electricalsoftware, equipment, or device functions normallyand why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, orfailed in this instance causing damage, financial loss,injury, or death. In some instances, the electricalengineer might be retained by a client to verify thatelectricity was not involved with the cause of afire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electricalengineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, andoptical knowledge to answer questions since thegeneration, distribution, and utilization of electricalpower involves mechanical components, which canproduce heat and light.
In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.
NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.
The Central Valley Arson Investigators association continued the tradition of providing outstanding training at their annual Advanced Explosive Recognition class. The training was held once again at the Tulare International Agri-Center grounds. This year’s topic was the history of the American criminal bombings. Guest speaker Ed Nordskog, LA Sheriff’s Department, lead the class through the history of American bombings, from the earliest bombings in America right up to the most current-day events.
While in the classroom, we were given a taste of what was to come in the afternoon on the range, a few large booms came from the range-site, and this, of course, sparked the interest of the attendees filling the room with anticipation for the afternoon’s activities. I’m not really sure if that was part of the scheduled shots, or if Frank just couldn’t wait to try out his handy work.
Thanks to Geary Baxter and his crew, everyone was treated to a hot dog lunch with all the fixings, chips, chili, and drinks. Shade covered bleachers were provided to keep the sun off the students during the demonstrations. The range was arranged with several props from mail boxes (fairly close to the bleachers), to two transit buses and an ambulance several hundred feet down range. And, of course, there was a pressure cooker, which was placed down range, so that we could see the effects of a device similar to the one used in Boston.
The students were given the count down, so they could get their cameras ready to capture the moment, “Fire in the hole, three, two, one”! Our very own Scotty Baker, the voice of the AER range, would call out when each prop was ready to be set off. This year had more than its fair share of silence when the charge was supposed to go off. After making our first run down range to get a closer look (and see the handy work of the Sheriff’s bomb team), it was clear what had happened, the fragmentation from the first explosions took out the six-pair lead-in wire. By the way, the trip down range was in a people mover provided by CVAI; these guys think of everything.
The class was attended by nearly one hundred and fifty students from police, fire, and evidence people from all over the state. There was even a fellow from New York City in the class (and I thought it was a long drive from San Diego). There was great representation from the CCAI elected officials; President Scotty Baker, First Vice-president Tom Peirce, Second Vice-president Eric Emmanuele, Director Dale Feb, and myself Director Troy Morrison.
Thanks to all the folks at Central Valley Arson Investigators for all their hard work!! Another great training class. We are all looking forward for what is in store for next year when the theme for the AER class will be “First Responders”.
Troy Morrison, PIO CCAI
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