- Certificate of Merit Statute: Constitutional or Unconstitutional?
- Increased Insurance Premiums: Are They Recoverable from Third-Party Tortfeasors?
- Texas Supreme Court Clarified the Applicable Standard for Proving Attorney’s Fees
- The Oregon Rule and Presumption of Fault
- Drivers’ Liability: The Unavoidable Accident Defense
- Fraudulent Concealment: When does the statute of limitations begin to run for a breach of contract claim, if fraudulent concealment is asserted?
- Application of the Discovery Rule to Breach of Contract Claims
- Proper Procedure to Obtain Entry on Real Property of a Nonparty for Purposes of Inspection and Photographing
- Designating Unknown Responsible Third Parties: How to Properly Designate an Unknown Driver
- Premises Liability: Do Open and Obvious Naturally Occurring Conditions Pose an Unreasonable Risk of Harm?
Subrogation Standards, Codes, & Procedures
A large loss investigation, conducted for the purpose of subrogation, may require following procedures and codes in many different areas: inspection, testing of evidence, and defective equipment to name a few. The organizations listed below are suggestions of places to begin when investigating the loss of a typical facility, such as a refinery or power plant.
ASTM, formally known as the American Society for Testing Materials
ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.
ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 150 countries. Working in an open and transparent process and using ASTM’s advanced electronic infrastructure, ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides, and practices that support industries and governments worldwide.
The ASTM has published six documents that provide guidelines for the standard practice of the forensic sciences:
- ASTM E620-11 – Standard Practice for Reporting Opinions of Scientific or Technical Experts
- ASTM E678-07(2013) – Standard Practice for Evaluation of Scientific or Technical Data
- ASTM E860-07(2013) – Standard Practice for Examining And Preparing Items That Are Or May Become Involved In Criminal or Civil Litigation
- ASTM E1020-13 – Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents that May Involve Criminal or Civil Litigation
- ASTM E1188-11 – Standard Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information and Physical Items by a Technical Investigator
- E ASTM E1459-13 – Standard Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation
National Fire Protection Association – NFPA
The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA, established in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
The world’s leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety, NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.
NFPA 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
NFPA 921 is an all-encompassing description of how to conduct a fire and explosion investigation that is based on accepted scientific principles or scientific research. The first edition, issued in 1992, focused largely on the determination of origin and cause of fires and explosions involving structures.
After revisions over the years, NFPA 921 now includes chapters on:
- the management of major investigations, collection and handling of physical evidence,
- electrical fire,
- marine fires,
- motor vehicle fires,
- arson fires, appliances,
- fuel gas systems in buildings,
- fire patterns, preservation of the fire scene,
- ignitable liquid detection canine/handler teams,
- fire-related human behavior,
- failure analysis and analytical tools,
- fire and explosion deaths and injuries wildfire investigations,
- legal considerations, and scene recording
NFPA 921 is available at: http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=921
American Petroleum Institute – API
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. More than 550 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry.
The following API publications are relevant for large loss investigations:
- API 510 - Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: In-Service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration, Ninth Edition
- API 570 - Piping Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Repair, and Alteration of Piping Systems, Third Edition
- API RP 571 - Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry, Second Edition
- API RP 574 - Inspection Practices for Piping System Components, Third Edition
- API RP 578 - Material Verification Program for New and Existing Alloy Piping Systems, Second Edition
- API RP 579-1 / ASME FFS-1 - Fitness-For-Service, Second Edition
- API Std 598 - Valve Inspection and Testing, Ninth Edition
- API STD 620 - Design and Construction of Large, Welded, Low-Pressure Storage Tanks, Twelfth Edition
- API STD 650 - Welded Tanks for Oil Storage, Twelfth Edition
- API STD 653 - Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction, Fourth Edition
- API STD 520 - Sizing, Selection, and Installation of Pressure-relieving Devices in Refineries, Part I – Sizing and Selection, Eighth Edition
These publications can be obtained either in PDF or printed edition directly from the API website.
ASME, formally known as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASME is a not-for-profit membership organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, career enrichment, and skills development across all engineering disciplines, toward a goal of helping the global engineering community develop solutions to benefit lives and livelihoods. Founded in 1880 by a small group of leading industrialists, ASME has grown through the decades to include more than 130,000 members in 158 countries.
ASME International publishes codes that cover the design of machinery and equipment in power plants and refineries. The most relevant ones for the purposes of the large loss investigation are:
Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
- Section I — Power Boilers
- Section VII — Care of Power Boilers
- Section IV — Heating Boilers
- B31.1 Power Piping
- B31.3 Process Piping
- B31.8 Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems
- PTC 25 Pressure Relief Devices
- CSD-1 Controls and Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers