Hurricane Shelter Collapse
Haag Engineering was asked to determine the cause of collapse of a hurricane shelter, determine responsible party with respect to subrogation, & evaluate the remaining structure with respect to repairability.
The metal building structure was an indoor sport/event arena that doubled as a hurricane shelter. Approximately 1,400 people had flocked to the shelter for safety before the storm. The metal roof system peeled away as the storm neared, causing most of the building to collapse. All 1,400 occupants survived due to their retreat below the concrete bleachers. Haag Forensic Engineers were called out to determine the primary cause of the collapse, determine who was responsible with respect to subrogation, and to evaluate the remaining structure with respect to reparability. We examined the structure, stewarded required evidence retained for all parties, and identified building conditions that led to the collapse. Our conclusions were provided via open forum presentation during mediation. The accuracy, detail, and reporting of our conclusions in a simple yet complete presentation enabled all parties to quickly understand the facts of the collapse and come to a mutual financial agreement without litigation. The structure was reconstructed after settlement was achieved.