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Investigating Catastrophic Loss Involving Freezer Rupture to Water-Based Piping Systems and the Interplay with NFPA 25
Recorded On October 8, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Presenters – Zachary Jett – Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig and Neil Wu – South River Engineering
Zachary M. Jett joined Butler WKC in 2013 and is a Senior Associate in the Charlotte, North Carolina office. Zach focuses his practice on Subrogation and Recovery. His litigation experiences are in catastrophic loss, construction defect, and products liability matters. His trial experience includes successful jury verdicts in state courts in both North and South Carolina. He routinely presents on subrogation topics at conferences throughout the southeast. Zach graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence, cum laude, from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2009.
Neil P. Wu is a Principal at South River Engineering, LLC and the founder of the firm. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a licensed professional engineer in several states. He has previously served as a building and fire official for the City of Orlando, Florida responsible for enforcement of construction codes. He specializes in design, installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of critical fire and life safety systems, including automatic fire sprinkler systems, commercial kitchen fire protection equipment, fire protection site water infrastructure, and automatic fire alarm and detection systems. He regularly performs investigations involving fires, construction defects, and fire protection system failures.
Over the past 5 years, the country (specifically the East Coast & Southeast) experienced a series of historically cold winters. While property owners and property insurers often understand wet piping systems need to be inspected and protected, it is often not until after the loss occurs that the property owners truly understand the scope of the code-required inspections. This presentation will work through a hypothetical scenario in which an insured property is significantly impacted by a water-based fire suppression system freeze up, rupture, and subsequent water discharge. The webinar will address best practices for coordinating a post-loss investigation from a subrogation attorney’s perspective. It will also address the applicable code and industry standard NFPA 25 from a fire suppression engineer’s perspective. Understanding NFPA 25 will assist the subrogation professional in crafting a strategy for a successful recovery as well as recognizing when there may not be a viable avenue of recovery. With the volume of “freeze losses” we experience annually, a primer on NFPA 25 will be helpful to subrogation professionals to determine when to pursue and when to close a file.