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List of Don Searles Legal Consulting and Expert Witness Cases 

Summery of Cases and Experience

  • 36 Years' Experience, 44 Cases, In 25 States and Canada.

  • Testified in court 7 times. Deposed 7 times.

  • Expert for the plaintiff in 33 cases.

  • Expert for the defendant in 11 cases.

  • 33 cases involved dredging, and or, dredging accidents.

  • 20 cases involved personal injuries or death.

  • 6 cases involved hydraulics and machinery.

  • 2 cases involved other matters.


List of Cases

2022 Louisiana: Bandon Lennie V Mike Hooks LLC [a dredging contractor] Expert for plaintiff. While connecting a floating pontoon pipeline to the stern of a workboat, Mr. Lennie’s head was crushed between the pontoon pipeline and a cleat on the workboat.
2021 Washington: Caleb Brown V Coalview Centralia LLC. Expert for plaintiff. Mr. Brown died as a result of being trapped in the cab of the dredge he was operating when it sank.
2019 Louisiana: Donald King V. Mike Hooks LLC [a dredging contractor] Expert for plaintiff. While connecting two pontoon pipelines, Mr. King’s hand was crushed, which required the amputation of the ends of two fingers.
2017 Texas: Expert for the plaintiff. Armondo Jardon V. C.B.H. Services, Kirby Inland Marine and Westport Orange Shipyard, LLC. Mr. Jardon was injured when he fell off a barge while working at the Westport Orange Shipyard.
2017 Maryland: C.J. Mahan Construction Company, LLC V. Ellicott Dredges LLC. Expert for the plaintiff. Mahan claimed damages from Ellicott because the dredge Ellicott sold Mahan would not attain the production Ellicott stated it would produce, had design faults and excessive break downs, which caused Mahan to be terminated from a $200,000,000 contract.
2016 Illinois: Scott Boilard V Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation. Expert for the plaintiff. Mr. Boilard was operating a winch on a derrick barge, as an employee of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. A cable broke and causing Mr. Boilard serious head injuries.
2014 Nebraska: Upper Missouri River Commercial Contractors, LLC V. Dredge Central, LLC. Expert for the plaintiff. The 18-inch dredge that Dredge Central sold Upper Missouri River Commercial Contractors, for $959,380,00 was not designed or built properly and would not function at all, in any way; to any extent.
2014 Mississippi: Expert for the plaintiff. Estate of George Rice V. Tronox LLC. Mr. Rice died when the dredge he was operating capsized and sank.
2014 Illinois: Munie Sand & Gravel v Beecher City Equipment Company. Expert for defendant. Testified in court. Munie claimed that the thumb they purchased from Beecher City for their excavator was defective and it caused damage to the hydraulic system.
2014 Texas: Estates of Carlos Zacarias and Javier Zacarias v City of Forth Worth, Texas. Expert for plaintiffs. While wading in Lake Worth, which is owed by the City of Fort Worth, Mr. Carlos Zacarias and Mr. Javier Zacarias fell into a deep drop off that was the result of dredging and they both drowned.
2013 Florida: Avant Garde Engineering and Recourses Limited, Nigeria v Nationwide Equipment Company, Inc. Expert for defendant. Avant Garde claimed the dredge they purchased from Nationwide would not meet the production specification in the contract.
2013 Pennsylvania: Deepstar Marine, Inc V Godwin Pumps. Expert for defendant. Deepstar claimed that the Godwin pumps they rented did not perform as they were told they would.
2013 Iowa: Haes Contracting, Inc. v TL Enterprises, Inc and Developers Surety and Indemnity Company. Expert for plaintiff. Haes sued to get payment for work completed on a dredging project.
2013 California: Kenneth Sanders v Hill Crane Service, Inc. Expert for plaintiff. Mr. Sanders was injured when a crane boom fell on him.
2012 Canada: Canadian Salt Company Limited v Jevco Insurance Company. Expert for defendant. Canadian Salt claimed that a dredging contractor had not completed a dredging contract as the specifications required and made a claim against Jevco who was the bonding company.
2012 Florida: Hernando County, Florida v Orion Dredging Services. Expert for plaintiff. Orion failed to complete the dredging of Hernando Beach Channel.
2012 Louisiana: James Morris & Fayez Nassri v Inland Dredging Company. Expert for plaintiffs. In the dark of night, the boat of Mr. Morris struck a large steel, dredge pipeline pontoon. The pontoon had no lights or markings, and was floating free in the Gulf Inner Coastal Waterway. Mr. Nassri was severely injured.
2012 Pennsylvania: Eugene B. Kreitz v. Norfolk Southern Railroad Company. Expert for plaintiff. Mr. Kreitz was in a man-basket that was on the forks of a forklift and had been raised to recover an object from the top a railroad boxcar. As Mr. Kreitz was being lowered, suddenly the forks, man-basket, and Mr. Kreitz crashed to the ground causing injuries to Mr. Kreitz.
2011 Minnesota:  Graham Construction Services Vs ISCO Industries.  Expert for plaintiff.  Design and build dredging equipment.
2011 Florida:  Leoni Vs Elmore.  Expert for defendant.  Deposed and testified at trial. Broward County Court.  Breach of contract on dredging project.
2010 Iowa:  McFarland Vs Lake Improvement Commission. Expert for defendant.  Ten year old  boy was killed when boat struck a dredge pipeline.
2008 Washington, DC:  Matson Construction Co, Inc. Vs United States of America.  Expert for defendant U.S. Justice Dept.  Changed conditions on Nome Alaska dredging project.
2007 Georgia: Stephen Eiland Vs Warn Industries, Inc. Expert for plaintiff.  Mr. Eiland was     paralyzed in an accident when the cable came off a Warn winch.
2006 Texas: Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District Vs. Shaw Environmental, Inc. Expert for plaintiff.  Testified at trial U.S. District Court, Northern Texas District, Abilene, TX.  Contractor abandoned a dredging project before it was completed. 
New York: Creative Waste Manaagment Vs. City of New Rochelle, NY. Expert for plaintiff.  Testified at trial.  U. S. District Court, Southern New York District, White Plains, NY.  Changed conditions on dredging and dewatering project.
2004 Kentucky: Consultant for Attorney- Mr. Click’s leg was amputated after it became caught in the auger on a dredge.
Indiana: Justin Stichnoth Vs. FSLECC. Expert for plaintiff.  Testfied at trial, White County Superior Court, Monticello, Indiana.  Mr. Stichnoth’s neck was broken when he dove into a lake and hit his head on a dredge pipe.
2004 Michigan: Consultant for CNA Insurance.  A quick connect bucket came off a hydraulic excavator, which fell in a ditch and crushed a worker.
2003 New Jersey: Whibco Vs. Twinkle Co. Expert for plaintiff.  Testified at trial, Cumberland County Superior Court, Bridgton, New Jersey.  Dredge built by the Twinkle Co. could not attain the guaranteed production.
2003 New Jersey: Spivey Vs. Weeks Marine, Expert for defendant.  Mr. Spivey claimed his back was injured when he lifted a mooring cable from a kevel on a hopper barge.
2002 California: Bartoli Vs. Hanson Aggregates, Expert for plaintiff.  Mr. Bartoli’s leg was seriously crushed when it became caught in a grizzly rake on a clam bucket dredge.
2002 Ohio: Browning Vs. John Deere Equipment, Inc. Expert for plaintiff.  Took deposition.  Mr. Browning was killed when the brakes, steering and transmission failed on his John Deere tractor.  The tractor crashed through a bridge railing and landed 25 feet below upside down.
2000 Texas: King Fisher Marine Service, Inc. Vs. M/V Socal 2, in rem, Kork Navagation Company, LTD. and Michael A. Curtis.  Consultant for plaintiff.  The ship M/V Socal 2 damaged the submerged dredge pipeline of King Fisher Marine Services. 
2000 Minnesota: Wild Bore, Inc. Vs. Ditch Witch of Minnesota, Inc. and Charles Machine Works, Inc. Expert for plaintiff.  Dispute about the design of the hydraulic system and the proper operation of a directional boring machine.
1999 New York: ECDC Vs. New York Marine and General Insurance Co.  Expert for defendant. ECDC spilled contaminated dredge material in Charleston, South Carolina harbor.
1998 New Jersey: Oldham Vs. Weeks Marine. Expert for defendant.  Mr. Oldham’s leg was broken when he attempted to clean debris from a 30-inch dredge pump.
1998 Illinois: Jarvi Vs. Great Lakes Dock and Dredging Co. Expert for plaintiff.  Was deposed Mr. Jarvi was seriously injured when a hose that was being replaced on the drag arm of a hopper dredge, came loose and he fell 15 feet and landed on the deck of a barge.
1997 Louisiana: OHM Remediation Vs. Citgo Petroleum.  Expert for plaintiff.  Took deposition.  Dredge equipment selection and production.
1997 Texas: Port of Corpus Christi Vs. TL James.  Expert for plaintiff. Took deposition.  Negligence in removing too much material.
1995 Pennsylvania:- Bethlehem Steel Vs. CNA Insurance. Consultant for CNA.  Bethlehem Steel claimed water flow and pressure had pushed bricks 1,200 feet along a pipeline.  Evidence that I developed, proved that Bethlehem’s claim was not true.
1992 Connecticut: Carmi Vs. Bantam Lake Rehabilitation Committee.  Expert for plaintiff.  Miss Carmi’s face was severely injured when the jet-ski she was operating, caught a cable from a dredge.
1992 Michigan: Harbor Club Marina Vs. Luedtke Engineering. Expert for plaintiff.  Negligence in removing too much material.
1990 Missouri: Limited Leasing Vs. State of Missouri Highway Dept.  Consultant for plaintiff.  Change in material on a dredging project.
1989 Oklahoma: National Dredging & Pumping Corp. Vs. Poe and Associates.  Expert for plaintiff.  Testified at trial, U.S. District Court, Oklahoma Northern District, Tulsa, OK.  Sludge sampling.
1988 Illinois: Mississippi Valley Materials Vs. Holkamp Equipment Co.  Expert for plaintiff.  Dredge production.