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April 2018 Newsletter

What’s New

The US CPSC has announced a recall of Kidde smoke detectors due to a manufacturing defect that inhibits their ability to detect smoke.

Recent Projects

  • Civil engineering consultation regarding sink hole concerns in a residential real estate development in Rockland County 
  • Engineering consultation regarding structural failure concerns at a building located in Rockland County
  • Forensic engineering consultation regarding drainage deficiencies at a Bronx, NY facility

Pedestrian Bridge Collapses In Florida, Causing Several Fatalities

On March 16th The National Society of Professional Engineers summarized that “major news outlets report on the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in Miami that killed at least four people. The New York Times…reports that $14.2 million in funding for the bridge was provided through a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from the US Department of Transportation to Munilla Construction Management. The Times reports the bridge was “built adjacent to the street” and then “driven into its perpendicular position across the road by a rig in about six hours on Saturday, while students from the university’s engineering and architecture programs watched.” The Times explains that accelerated construction “is a well-regarded method of erecting bridges that avoids the long months of street closings when a structure is built over a road or river.” According to Andy Herrmann, a former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, bridges constructed in this fashion are not more likely to collapse than other types of bridges but the process of moving the bridge may add stress to other areas of the bridge. The Wall Street Journal…reports the Federal Highway Administration has said accelerated bridge construction can result in increased safety for motorists and workers because the process can cut construction time down to a minimum of 48 hours. The Washington Post reports NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt said he was not aware of any deficiencies in these types of bridges, but “he said if investigators determined there were problems, they have the ability to issue urgent recommendations.”.

Andrew R. Yarmus, P.E., as Chair of the National Society of Professional Engineers PE’s in Construction Interest Group, is helping to facilitate discussions between Professional Engineers across the country on such important matters in the construction industry. Please contact our office if we can be of assistance to you or your clients regarding engineering services, and/or if you have an interest in such matters.

Frivolous American with Disabilities Act lawsuits ‘surge’ in NY, report claims

On March 26th reported that “New York has seen a spike in “merit less and dubious” federal lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a report filed by a legal reform group claims… Titled “Serial Plaintiffs,” the 11-page report by the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York maintains that, while well-meaning, the law can be exploited by attorneys seeking hefty settlements, in some cases using “boilerplate” lawsuits…”Lawyers are clearly driving this litigation,” Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance, said in a statement. “They are profiting from an important law that was enacted with admirable intentions. They sue schools, newspapers, and businesses of all sizes in the hopes of getting a quick settlement.”…Overall, the report said 1,023 lawsuits citing violations of the law were filed in federal courts in New York last year, making the state third behind California and Florida…The report’s release comes one month after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act, which seeks to curb abuse by attorneys who may seek to profit by filing litigation against businesses”.

Yarmus Engineering, P.C. is available to design, inspect, certify, and consult with clientele regarding ADA accessibility within and to their buildings and premises, and to consult with attorneys, insurance companies, property managers, and other property related professionals regarding such matters. Firm President, Andrew R. Yarmus, P.E., maintains his certification as a NYS Code Enforcement Official to ensure that we remain knowledgeable about the latest requirements, regulations, and standards regarding same. Please contact our office if we can be of assistance to you or your clients regarding such matters.

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