Retroactive Appraisal Expert Discusses Damage to Residential Property from Pollution Discharge


Appraisal Expert WitnessThis case involves damage to a private residential property arising from exposure to polluted water over the period of several years. The property in question was bisected by a large creek that, over a period of five years, had been carrying industrial pollutants dumped upstream through the plaintiff’s property. Due to the location of the creek and the nature of the pollutants that it carried through the plaintiff’s property, the area is now dangerous to human health and will remain so for decades. The plaintiff alleged that the deposition of pollutants has adversely affected the value of his property, and retained an appraisal expert to quantify the damage in monetary terms, and to review the validity of previous appraisals under USPAP standards.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you capable of determining the appraisal values requested above and evaluating appraisals for USPAP compliance?
  • 2. Have you ever published or lectured on this subject?
  • 3. Please explain why you're qualified to serve as an expert on this engagement.

Expert Witness Response E-039830

I am capable of determining the retrospective values at the outset of the pollution event and the property’s current value. Given that I regularly prepare property appraisals, I would also be able to review the prior appraisals for USPAP compliance, assuming that I would have access to the former appraisers’ work file. The USPAP include relevant opinions regarding the evaluation of properties with a Class VIII Environmental and Biomedical Condition, such as the property in this case. There are also a number of advisory opinions contained within USPAP that might provide some guidance here as well. Considering the environmental damage at play here, it may also require additional expertise in environmental testing and remediation to determine an accurate valuation.

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