Baker & O'Brien, Inc.





Accident Investigation and Claims Preparation

Insurers rely upon Baker & O'Brien's technical expertise and commercial experience during investigation of industrial accidents and preparation of claims. Our consultants have arrived on-site within hours of catastrophic accidents to assist in evaluation of the site and collection of evidence. Baker & O'Brien has advised insurers and their clients in preparing claims for property damage and business interruption. We are frequently called upon to assist insurers in subrogation actions by evaluating causation theories and claims for damages.

Related Experience

  • Plant Commissioning Review
    Provided initial guidance and comments regarding the development of a commissioning and start-up schedule for a polypropylene plant. Provided initial input into how plant start-up incidents affected the commissioning schedule.
    Business Interruption, Operations/Maintenance
  • Shipyard Insurance Claim Analysis
    Assessed a business interruption claim filed by a shipyard that resulted from a third-party incident. Based upon our analysis of the claimant's business operations and performance, claim estimates were developed that formed the basis for settlement negotiations.
    Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
  • Refining Market Forecast
    Investigated business interruption claims from fuels refineries, lube refineries, cement plants, fuels distributors, and chemicals manufacturers due to the closure of marine access following the release of oil into the waters surrounding the plants.  
    Business Interruption
  • Tube Sheet, Flare Tip Matter
    Investigated the cause of tubesheet and flare tip damage related to an unplanned sudden shutdown of the facility.  Evaluated whether damage was caused by the shutdown, long-term wear, or contractor error during installation.  Provided expert support through mediation and settlement efforts.  
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Oil Field Pipe Dispute-Insurance Claim
    Reviewed a claim involving an insurance dispute relating to proper preservation of drilling pipe in a storage yard following a hurricane.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Gas Plant Fire Damage Repair Costs
    Assessed fire-related damages and estimated rebuild cost for a cooling tower at a gas plant.
    Property Damage
  • Ethanol Plant Freeze Claim
    Reviewed an insurance claim associated with an idled ethanol manufacturing facility being re-started.  Purpose was to assess items listed in the claim to determine if damages were caused directly by a winter freeze or due to some other failure mechanism such as improper mothballing techniques or normal degradation of a once-operating facility.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Gas Plant Explosion & Subsequent Insurance Claims
    Assisted resolution of claims between insurance company and Owners/Operators related to a gas plant explosion.  Reviewed property damage and business interruption claims for accuracy and veracity.
    Business Interruption, Pipeline, Property Damage
  • Incident Analysis - Petrochemicals
    Performed an investigation analysis following fire and explosion incidents at a major Gulf Coast manufacturing facility.  The engagement entailed development of the sequence of events, root cause analysis, assessment of the decision to rebuild, and reconstruction monitoring.  An independent project schedule and cost estimate for the plant reconstruction was developed.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Property Damage, Safety
  • Subsea Pipeline Rupture
    Assisted attorneys in investigating the circumstances surrounding a rupture of a subsea crude oil pipeline caused by a vessel dragging an anchor. This assignment included a review of the impact on crude oil gathering system and receiving terminal operations, the owner's emergency response, subsea pipeline repair costs, and a determination of the maximum insurable loss.
    Business Interruption, Offshore, Pipeline, Property Damage, Safety, Waterborne/Marine
  • Tank Truck Explosion Investigation
    Investigated the potential causes and sources of ignition for an explosion that destroyed a road tanker, used to haul raw natural gas liquids from a gas treating plant, that was in a repair shop for the replacement of a pressure relief valve. 
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Sulfuric Acid Plant Fire Investigation
    Investigated cause for sulfuric acid plant fire. Reviewed plant operating conditions prior to the fire and the unit design to identify the cause and potential contributing causes to the fire and subsequent explosions.
  • Refinery Business Interruption Dispute
    Following an unplanned shutdown, caused by extensive equipment damage, evaluated the refinery operation to confirm that all mitigation steps had been taken and also confirm the claimed business interruption losses.
    Business Interruption, Crude Oil Valuation, Forensic Analysis , LP/Planning Practice
  • Ethanol Plant Business Interruption Dispute
    Reviewed an insurance claim for an ethanol plant "opportunity loss" due to a power outage resulting from repair work on main electrical feed cables after being damaged by a construction contractor. Reviewed operating expenses and ethanol pricing during the subject period and provided an opinion on the reasonableness of the size of the claim.
    Business Interruption, Pricing
  • Refinery Business Interruption Claim
    Provided technical support for a business interruption claim associated with a refinery fire.  Evaluated refinery linear program model used to develop the "but for" cases.  Prepared a report with recommended corrections to the linear program model "but for" case output.
    Business Interruption, LP/Planning Practice
  • Gas Turbine Damage
    Assisted in a root-cause analysis and damages dispute concerning a major turbine failure in the start-up of a power plant.  
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Supply and Distribution
    Assisted in a dispute concerning the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on jet fuel prices for the Gulf Coast market.  The sequence of events and impacts on individual suppliers were developed, as well as an allocation of outages and price differentials attributable to each hurricane.  Our analysis of pricing activity also considered estimates of normalized versus event-based price movements in the overall market.  
  • Refinery Fire Damage Assessment and Rebuild Costs
    Assisted in a dispute concerning fire damages and estimated rebuild costs at a petroleum refinery, as well as monitored the rebuild project.  
    Property Damage
  • Chemical Plant Insurance Claim Support
    Provided comprehensive technical and accounting support for a property damage claim settlement and analysis for a chemical manufacturing plant that was damaged during a hurricane.  Work included review of all repair cost estimates and invoiced repair invoices, as well as analysis of claimed damages discovered and submitted post-recovery.  Assistance was also provided during final claim settlement negotiations.  
    Business Interruption, Property Damage
  • Chemical Plant Fire Repair
    Provided technical advice and consultation for recommended repair procedures for vessels and piping damaged in a chemical plant fire. 
    EPC-related, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Explosion Insurance Claim
    Provided report presenting a reasonable timeline and duration to source, contract, start, and conduct the demolition of the parts the Gas Plant damaged after the plant experienced a fire and explosion.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Property Damage
  • Ammonia Plant Construction Insurance Dispute
    Evaluated the technical basis for a ammonia plant insurance claim involving construction defects and warranty work.  Inspected the plant, evaluated project records, and reviewed maintenance records.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Business Interruption Claim and Root Cause Analysis
    Monitored rebuild engineering and construction of facilities damaged by fire and offered expert opinion on the appropriate construction period for the business interruption claim. Participated in the incident root cause analysis.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Review Insurance Claim
    Reviewed a petroleum refinery business interruption insurance claim resulting from a dock closure because of an oil spill.
    Business Interruption, Environmental, Operations/Maintenance, Waterborne/Marine
  • Power Outage Root Cause Analysis
    Root cause analysis of a Port of Houston container facility power outage and an assessment of potential exposure to business interruption claims.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Property Damage
  • Petroleum Products Terminal and Pipeline Environmental Matter
    Provided expert witness testimony in a groundwater contamination dispute regarding a petroleum products terminal..
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Toxic Tort
  • Power Plant Insurance Claim
    Provided expert consulting services regarding operations and maintenance of a barge-mounted, diesel-powered turbine electric power generation facility..
    Business Interruption, Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Ammonia Plant Failure Investigation
    Assisted in evaluating a series of insurance claims centered around separate events to determine a proximate cause.  Work included reviewing design and operating records for a worldscale ammonia plant.  Each of the events resulted in claims for property damage and business interruption.  Prepared an analysis and report that evaluated the root cause for each of the events and whether the events were connected by a chain of causation.
    Business Interruption, Fertilizers, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Electrostatic Precipitator Explosion
    Investigated the cause and origin of an explosion in an electrostatic precipitator used in a cement manufacturing plant that was the subject of an insurance claim.  Reviewed operating records for temperatures, pressures, and flow rates through a rotating cement kiln.  Evaluated operation of the electrostatic precipitator for anomalies prior to the explosion.  Concluded that the cause and orgin related to a mechanical failure in the kiln.  Provided findings to the owner and its insurer and supported decisions regarding coverage and subrogation issues.
    Business Interruption, Property Damage
  • Ethylene Plant Construction Dispute
    Opined on the reasonable period of time for the completion phase of a rebuild project after a fire during an expansion project.  Commented on the implementation of relief system changes during the rebuild to be in compliance with standards and codes.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
  • Insurance - Sugar Mill: Lost Production Claim
    A steam-driven turbo-generator in a sugar mill failed, causing loss of production.  There was a dispute between the mill owner and its insurer concerning the physical damages and the business interruption losses.  We were engaged to evaluate the claim.
    Business Interruption
  • Business Interruption Damages Claim by Concrete Supplier
    Provided an expert consultant business interruption loss estimate for damages to a concrete products producer as a result of an incident at an oil refinery.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance