We recently corresponded with Ken Boegeman Jr., a Certified Snow Professional (CSP) and expert witness that helps injury attorneys assess slip and fall causes on behalf of their injured clients.
What is the nature of your business and how did you first become a snow consultation expert witness?
Swinter Group, Inc. is one of the largest snow and ice management companies in North America. About a decade ago, I was contacted by an attorney who asked if I would be willing to look over some photographs and provide some perspective for a case he was working on. After reviewing the photos I was asked to look over some testimony, and then I was asked to provide a deposition for him as an expert. At the time, I was unaware such a service existed. From then to now my work as an expert has grown quite a bit, but still is a very small part of Swinter Group’s overall business.
For what types of snow and ice-related matters do personal injury attorneys seek your expertise?
Most of the cases I review pertain to slip and falls related to snow and ice. I provide insight and perspective on industry standards of care commonly found in the snow and ice management industry.
What is the typical process that you undertake when assessing a case for a personal injury attorney?
Each case we review has its own “personality”, and each attorney has their preference for strategy, so I do what I can to accommodate the attorney while still providing insightful and industry-accurate information. Typically I will ask the attorney for all relevant case information. This will include all discovery and depositions to date relative to snow and ice management services. After the information is reviewed I will generally provide the attorney with a summary of opinions. From there next steps vary on the state in which the case is filed. In some cases I provide reports, in others, I will provide an affidavit. The next step is generally for me to give a deposition for opposing counsel. At that point, it is common for cases to settle and avoid a trial.
What are some ways that you help injured persons and attorneys prove their case?
By providing insight and perspective to established industry standards of care, as well as what can be reasonably expected of snow and ice management crews my testimony and reports help answer the question of “what should have been done”.
What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your work?
Being a professional in the snow and ice management industry, I take a tremendous amount of pride in not just the job we do, but how we do it. By participating in the cases I have participated in I have helped injured persons recover damages from property owners and service providers who have failed, causing injury to the claimant. On the other hand, I have helped property owners and vendors protect their interests from careless individuals who are purely using the legal system to line their pockets at the expense of the defendants who have done nothing wrong. This balance and knowing my participation has helped those who have either been wronged or are defending themselves from frivolous accusations is the most satisfying aspect of my expert work.
Publisher’s note: If you have been involved in a serious slip and fall accident that has disrupted your activities of daily living, then you should contact an experienced Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney. For any further slip and fall questions, please contact us.