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The Use of Extrapolation in Construction Defect Litigation

Geoff Wood, a partner in the Oakland office, and Fred Webster, PhD, PE of Fred Webster & Associates, will present a seminar on “The Use of Extrapolation in Construction Defect Litigation” to the Western Construction Consultants Association (Westcon) on Wednesday, March 19th. The presentation will discuss the meaning and use of the term “extrapolation,” and describe the various extrapolation methods used in construction defect cases. It will explain how statistical extrapolation is developed and used in discovery, mediation and trial. It will include a list of common statistical terms, as well as various sources for additional information. The presentation will refer to common examples of everyday use of extrapolation principles.

The seminar will touch briefly upon the applicable law that allows an expert to testify about statistical findings and how extrapolation is different for mediation/settlement than for arbitration/trial. It will also cover how to use extrapolation properly, startingwith framing the problem, initial testing to understand the issues, using a statistician to select the appropriate sampling unit and defining the population of sampling units to be investigated.

There will be a discussion of identifying the random sampling units from the population for inspection, investigating and recording the data obtained from the field, submitting the findings/data to the statistician in objective terms, and finally developing mathematical statements, i.e. probability statements of the results. There will also be a discussion of how to defend against extrapolation evidence.

The Westcon meeting begins at 6:15 pm with a social hour, followed by dinner at 7:00 pm and the presentation at 8:00 pm. It will be held at the Berkeley Yacht Club, 1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, CA. The cost is $48 for members and $60 for non-members. Please visit http://www.westcon.org/meeting.html for more information and to register.