Complex litigation and subrogation cases involving product liability and/or technical issues frequently require opinion testimony in the form of expert witnesses. The role of the expert is to educate lay judges and juries who lack knowledge about a particular issue or technology involved in a case. This includes everything from the design of a complex product to the standard of medical care in the treatment of a patient to the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees or medical bills. To be effective, an expert must not only be knowledgeable, but must also be able to convey his opinion and the technology involved in an understandable and convincing manner. While the selection of the right expert is important in every case, it is critically important in subrogation cases because subrogation must be “cost-effective” in order to be successful. All too often we see a poor choice of experts result in a poor subrogation result. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. has spent more than 20 years compiling a database of more than 25,000 experts throughout North America, broken down by geography, area of expertise, and cost. Our clients know that it is important to have the right expert the moment a claim is made and subrogation is apparent, so one of the services we offer our clients is locating potential experts when requested to do so. Every month, our Meet The Expert feature will highlight a qualified expert who scores high in all categories and with whom we have had success in the past. This month we invite you to meet Charles A. Barnes, Sr.
Charles A. Barnes, Sr.
C.A. Barnes Investigation & Consulting was established in 1989 as a safety and accident consulting practice addressing mobile, agricultural, construction, industrial, and material handling equipment. Prior to starting Barnes Investigation & Consulting, Charles A. Barnes, Sr. worked for 30 years as a mechanical engineer with Clark Material Handling Company in the material handling field. This work included designing, testing, and managing projects that created forklift trucks and uprights for lift trucks. Mr. Barnes worked his way from designing upright and heavy lift trucks, to managing the development of internal-combustion powered forklifts, and eventually retired as the Chief Product Engineer.
His practical experience in the materials handling field makes Mr. Barnes an invaluable asset when dealing with any of the numerous, different lift truck accidents that occur. He is able to investigate an accident site and then evaluate the equipment involved in order to determine the cause of the accident. Mr. Barnes has investigated incidents involving equipment overturns, seatbelt failures, service brake failures, control systems failures, uncontrolled fork drops, hydraulic failures, fires, maintenance practices, mechanical failures, operator error, operator training, and product warnings. Mr. Barnes has provided the field investigation, research, and engineering analysis necessary to resolve over 400 accidents, fires, and personal injury incidents. This includes deposition and trial testimony.
Mr. Barnes was an active member or the Industrial Truck Standards Foundation (formerly ASME) B56.1 Sub-Committee for 26 years before resigning in 2014 to become an Alternate on both B56.1 and B56.11 Sub-Committees. This group maintains the nationally recognized “B56 Safety Standards for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks” — an American National Standard. Mr. Barnes is also a certified fire and explosion investigator and a licensed professional investigator with an active practice in each field.
Mr. Barnes and Charlotte, his wife of 55 years, live on a small Angus cattle farm in Michigan. They have four grown children and 11 grandchildren and enjoy church activities, boating, camping and watching the grandchildren show cattle.
Find out more about Mr. Barnes and C.A. Barnes Investigation & Consulting at their website, http://cabarnesconsulting.com.