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 other 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 Dr. Jeffrey A. Pfaendtner with Veracis Engineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Jeffrey A. Pfaendtner, CFEI, P.E., Ph.D.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Pfaendtner is a licensed Professional Engineer and a certified Fire and Explosion Investigator with more than twenty years experience in the fields of materials, metallurgical and mechanical engineering. He is a Principal Engineer of Veracis Engineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota, providing the greater Midwest area with expert consultation in a number of areas involving failure of materials and products.
After a successful career in the industry with General Electric, focusing on high temperature alloy and composite technology, Dr. Pfaendtner has transitioned his focus to consulting on materials and materials processing problems. This includes the development, selection, testing, and failure analysis of many types of materials, including metallic alloys, plastics, ceramics, glass, composites, and coatings.
For the subrogation industry, Dr. Pfaendtner provides an experienced voice in the determination of material failures in supporting litigation and providing expert testimony. Dr. Pfaendtner has developed broad expertise and experience in the root-cause determination of many types of losses, such as those due to water, fire and explosion, and product failure. He has twenty-four U.S. and European patents attributed to his work and he continues to author articles relevant to the industry.
Dr. Pfaendtner is also a former elite athlete who competed nationally and internationally on the U.S. National Rowing Team. In college, at the University of Pennsylvania, he won several national championship regattas as part of the Penn varsity eight-oared crew. Dr. Pfaendtner went on to compete on nine U.S. National Rowing Teams at World Championship competitions in Europe, Australia and North and South America including the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team where he won a bronze medal in the lightweight fours competition at the Atlanta Olympics. Lately, Dr. Pfaendtner can be found enjoying rowing with his kids on Lake Minnetonka near his home.