Babbage expert evidence key.

Babbage expert evidence may establish a precedent

August 2014

Babbage Consultants have a number of highly experienced employees who are recognised experts in their field and who are often called upon to provide evidence before the New Zealand Courts on behalf of our clients and as independent advisors in matters where disputes have arisen. A recent particular case in which we assisted is likely to establish a New Zealand precedent. The case involved a Consultant who was prosecuted under the Resource Management Act as a result of an off-site discharge of silt which did not comply with the terms and conditions of the Resource Consent for stormwater and earthworks.

As consultants, Babbage assess as part of our contract administration, the requirements of a client’s Resource Consent to minimise the effects of the construction process on the environment to ensure this is undertaken in the most cost effective manner. Compliance with consent conditions relies on the construction team of client, contractor and consultant, but most heavily on the quality and performance of the contractor involved. Babbage are always mindful of this when they make recommendations to our clients at the time of awarding contracts.

The recent case in point involved earthworks at a subdivision in which the silt control measures in place at the time allowed a silt discharge to occur off the site in excess of the permitted quantity. The discharge occurred because the contractor had temporarily modified the silt control measures in place. Despite repeated requests by the ‘Engineer to the Contract’ to reinstate the approved silt control measures, he failed to do so before a significant storm event occurred causing the silt overflow. The claim was that the 'Engineer' had permitted the silt spill to occur. Both the Contractor and the Principal (client) had already been prosecuted.

Babbage provided expert evidence that successfully defended the actions of the 'Engineer' involved and which should establish a precedent as to what is expected of an 'Engineer' in such circumstances. It is also probable, with the benefit of hindsight that such a precedent may have been able to have been used to defend the client in his prosecution.

Babbage have expert staff who can assist in legal claims and act as expert witnesses in every field of engineering and design construction. If you require assistance with a dispute or legal claim please contact us.

Babbage expert evidence key in defending case.
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