Determining the amount of lost profits and productivity is one of the most difficult parts of calculating damages in a construction litigation case. These damages cover the money a company lost due to the inefficiency of the construction process—perhaps available time was not used properly, or perhaps the entire construction process should have been planned differently. For such complex calculations, a structural steel expert will be helpful. Structural steel experts often provide inefficiency testimony that is used by a judge or jury to calculate appropriate damages.
Without a structural steel expert, it may be difficult to calculate lost profits and other damages. One method of calculating these damages is called the measured mile. With this method, the productivity of an efficient period of the project is compared to the inefficient period. For example, perhaps work on the construction product did not actually slow until a month into the process. The first month would be the efficient period, and the second month would be the inefficient period. Clearly, a number of different factors impact the process, and these figures may not always be accurate.
Another method used to calculate lost productivity and inefficiency is comparing the construction at issue to previous construction projects. However, this too is not always a reliable method. For example, the projects could involve different types of weather, different building materials, and different subcontractor crews. These factors will have to be carefully examined and studied prior to issuing a damages award, a task that a jury may find overwhelming.
Clearly, it would be better to have a structural steel expert witness available to provide reliable data and break it down in a manner that the jury can understand. When an expert has significant experience in construction matters, this testimony is extremely valuable to a construction case.