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Lawyers: Lighten Up!

As testing companies come under scrutiny, City can't keep up

Blawgs Today's Monday guest blog post is from the blog, The New York Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, associated with the Perecman Firm PLLC.  The firm's practice areas include construction accidents, worker's compensation, premises accidents, medical malpractice, automobile accidents and other New York personal injury cases.  

If you would like me to consider featuring a recently published New York substantive law post from your blog, please drop me an email at nblack at nicoleblackesq dot com, and include a link to the post and a very brief description of your practice and blog for me to include with the post.


As testing companies come under scrutiny, City can't keep up

After allegations surfaced that Testwell Laboratories was falsifying the results of its concrete strength tests, the New York City Department of Buildings pledged to retest the concrete in some 60 projects in which Testwell was involved. Now, nearly a year after this plan was announced, The New York Times is reporting that the Department of Buildings has only retested a handful of buildings and will have difficulty increasing the pace of its testing.

New York construction accident lawyers monitoring this situation know that with a new indictment against Stallone Testing Laboratories, the Department's backlog has the potential to get much worse.

Retesting the concrete poses several problems for the agency, most of which stem from the inherent complexity of the task. Each building has its own special considerations and there are no universal standards to guide the Department's retesting efforts. Instead, each project requires consultation with the building's engineers to determine which tests and standards are appropriate for each building.

This detailed work is not only time-consuming - it is expensive. According to the Department of Buildings, it costs about $100,000 to reevaluate a building's concrete, a cost the Department has been passing on to the developers or owners.

Not that the Department has performed much work yet. So far the Department has retested only three buildings - the new Yankee Stadium, Goldman Sachs' headquarters and a section of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The concrete in all three buildings posed no problem.

Not all of the difficulties in retesting concrete are inevitable. The Department of Buildings' antiquated, paper-based record system is partly to blame for the slow pace of retesting. Essentially, there is no easy or quick way to determine which projects Testwell Laboratories - or any other contractor, for that matter - was involved in. Records at the Department have to be inspected by hand, a ridiculous limitation in an age where computerized relational databases are commonplace...

(The remainder of this post can be read here.)


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