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Airbag Expert Witness

Expert No.2022



University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

1960 BS Chemical Engineering
1964 MS Chemical Engineering
1967 Ph D Chemical Engineering
1966 Society of Sigma XI (Phi Beta Kappa for engineers)

Explosions and Fire Cases

1. Personal Injury & Wrongful Death, settled; Butane Reactor explosion at chemical plant, 3 fatalities, 40 injuries.

2. Personal Injury & Wrongful Death, dismissed; Ammonium nitrate-fuel oil explosive device discharged.

3. Personal Injury; settled; Barreled solvent explosion-ignited from cutting torch.

4. Personal Injury; & Wrongful Death, settled; Crude Oil production field storage tank explosion.

5. Personal Injury; settled; Gasoline explosion at service station.

6. Property Damage, dismissed due to bankruptcy filing by defendant; Aluminum oxide plant over-pressure explosion.

7. Service station gasoline fire.

8. Personal Injury; settled; Bottled water explosion-eye injury.

9. Personal Injury; settled; Industrial battery-produced hydrogen explosion.

10. Personal Injury; settled; Steam burn from defective piping.

11. Property Damage; settled; Natural gas explosion from residential gas leak.

12. Personal Injury; settled; Explosion & fire from residential use of sulfuric acid drain cleaner.

13. Personal Injury; settled; Explosion from institutional use of commercial alkali drain cleaner.

14. Personal Injury, worked for attorney representing insurance company, settled; {D} Carbon dioxide refrigeration system release-truck driver sustained head trauma and asphyxiation injuries.

15. Personal Injury, settled; Water treatment chemicals containing sodium hypochlorite and amine were inadvertently mixed causing a chlorine gas vapor cloud. Exposed workers developed respiratory impairment.

16. Two employees burned during propane explosion in a pizza preparation trailer.

17. Insurance claim dispute over value of fire damaged laboratory equipment.

18. Burn injury from Isopropyl alcohol-gasoline fire.

19. Dispute with insurance company over fire damage to residence.

20. Wrongful Death, settled; Airbag plant sodium azide propellant explosion - maintenance worker fatality.

21. Wrongful Death, settled; Airbag plant sodium azide propellant explosion - maintenance worker injury.

22. Airbag propellant explosion - 1 worker killed and 1 worker seriously injured.

23. Defendant detonated 100 pounds of an ammonium nitrate/ammonium perchlorate/ metallic powder explosive (Tannerite).

24. Carbon dioxide refrigeration system release-truck driver lost consciousness & sustained head trauma and asphyxiation injury.


A Corporation
Dallas, TX (1988-2010)

Technical expert and expert witness retained by attorneys for 49 airbag and airbag-related cases filed against General Motors, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, TRW, Mazda, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Honda, BMW, Bosch and numerous dealerships in federal and state courts in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Arizona. 

Virtex Oil & Gas Corporation
Bristol, VA (1987-1988)

Vice President Engineering & Commercial Development
Designed, constructed, and started up two major fuel alcohol plants.  Developed business architecture, negotiated all contracts, selected and leased, site, procured all equipment, secured feedstock purchases and product marketing agreements, selected and supervised contractor and obtained all environmental, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and operating permits.

Virginia Oxygenates, Inc.
Bristol, VA (1985-1987)

Vice President Business Development
Worked with Virginia legislature and succeeded in preserving the Virginia fuel alcohol program.

Developed fuel alcohol project that generated $4.2 million gross revenue during the first year of operation, preventing the company's demise and forfeiture of prior years $5.5 million net operating loss tax benefit.  I developed the project business architecture, obtained unsecured financing for $1.5 million of plant equipment, negotiated all contracts (site lease, feedstock procurement / product marketing, technology selection and licensing, and effluent disposal), designed, built and started up plant, and hired and trained operations staff.

Vice President Technology & Marketing
Succeeded in obtaining first US EPA Section 211(f) Clean Air Act Waiver for methanol / gasoline blends.

Responsible for design and engineering of barge mounted methanol plant program.  Working directly for Litton Industries' CEO, I had joint responsibility for process and marine technology selection, overall design, selection of engineering contractor and shipyard construction.  Duties also included development of automotive markets for fuel grade methanol.

Celanese Chemical Company
Corpus Christi, New York, Dallas (1966-1980)

Senior Planning Associate
Developed major product line strategies for Strategic Plan for $1 billion annual sales.  Total company computer business model developed and used to develop financial reports for growth strategies.  Defined key activities required by manufacturing, marketing, research and development to maintain product leadership.

Conducted chemical engineering assessment of U.S. and Foreign Patents for chemical processes, reactions systems and catalyst systems for corporate patent attorneys, general counsel and vice president of technology licensing for use in licensing external technology.

Group Leader Process Development
Provide experimental program design and data analysis of bench scale process development programs and plant technical support

Designed, constructed, and operated fully instrumented, continuously operated micro units. Project team and plant work produced substantial earnings increases for world's largest methanol and formaldehyde plants. Supervised two Ph.D. chemists.

Senior Computer Applications Engineer
Developed major computer systems for preliminary and detailed chemical process design.

Senior Pilot Plant Supervisor
Provided chemical and mechanical process designs, construction, and operation of large, fully instrumented pilot plants for major development programs.

Shell Oil Company
Houston, TX (Summers 1963-1964)

Senior Development Engineer
Developed on-line computer control systems for fluid catalytic crackers. Developed computer models for prediction of motor gasoline octane number.

Gibbstown, N.J. (1960-1962)

Senior Process Engineer
Responsible for operation and maintenance of fully integrated acrylonitrile pilot plant (ORLON monomer) and caprolactam (Nuylon-6 raw material) semi-works.

Professional Organizations

Society of Automotive Engineers


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