This case involves multiple plaintiffs living in a low-income apartment housing complex that died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The pipes in the boiler room allegedly began to rust and crack causing a leak of carbon monoxide. There were no carbon monoxide detectors present in the apartments or boiler room to warn the residents. The defendant alleged that an inspection of the boiler room was conducted 6 months prior to the incident. An expert in boiler maintenance and repair was sought to inspect the site, determine whether or not the boiler had been maintained properly, and discuss industry standards for boiler maintenance.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your experience in boiler room inspection and maintenance.
- 2. What are the causes of rust build up and pipe erosion?
Expert Witness Response E-167157
I am the director of engineering at an equipment engineering company where I have performed and written reports on boiler rooms and steam system inspections for various customers and clients. I am also in charge of the inspection, maintenance, investigation, troubleshooting, and reporting of any issues faced with our portable boiler room units. We have 100+ units in our fleet that must be inspected and maintained. There are many factors that contribute to pipe erosion over time including (but not limited to) the air quality in the boiler room, any chemicals or processes releasing contaminants in the air supply to the boiler room, fluid medium type and quality, the velocity and turbulence of fluid medium, and the type of pipe. Part of a boiler room inspection should include determining the condition of all equipment and piping in the boiler room. I am acutely aware of the dangers and potential risks of improperly installed or maintained equipment. I previously worked for a condensing boiler company that was the target of several cases for carbon monoxide poisoning.