G. P. Clemente Consulting
G. P. Clemente Consulting
Gary P. Clemente
G. P. Clemente Consulting, President
Sidewalk Safety Inc., President (current)
626 W. Milano Lane
Clovis, CA 93619
As an expert legal witness, to provide precise, clear, factual information as related to personal injury cases resulting from trip and fall hazard liabilities, chiefly pertaining to concrete and asphalt surface areas and walkways. To provide compelling written reports and articulate verbal testimony in either deposition or courtroom settings. To assist in determining origination, prevention and assigned responsibility for such liabilities from firsthand professional experience in the construction industry while assessing and repairing nearly 50,000 walkway trip hazard liabilities.
ABOUT SIDEWALK SAFETY INC.
Sidewalk Safety is a construction related company based in Sacramento and Fresno, primarily involved with concrete and asphalt repair and restoration. Included, are services related to leveling, grinding and scarifying walkways, paths and surface areas that are uneven and hazardous; ADA handicap ramp installations and other ADA specified concrete repairs to meet required guidelines; removal and replacement of concrete walkways, steps, curbs and patios; asphalt sealcoating, line striping, fire lane curb painting and handicap parking stenciling.
Principal clientele has included property management firms, multi-family housing, HUD-REAC related housing, home owners associations, assisted living facilities, commercial real estate holdings, banks, insurance companies, municipalities and residential homeowners.
ABOUT GARY P. CLEMENTE
Bachelor of Science, University of Florida, 1974
24 years experience in the construction industry related to concrete and asphalt repair.
1995, Walkway Grinding, Dallas, TX, specializing in concrete grinding of walkways, paths and surface areas to prevent trip and fall injuries throughout the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
2001, founder and owner, Sidewalk Grinding, Fresno, CA; specializing in concrete and asphalt grinding of walkways, paths and surface areas to prevent trip and fall injuries throughout northern California, the Bay area and Central Valley.
2017, merged through partnership to form Sidewalk Safety, Inc.; specializing in concrete grinding to mitigate trip hazard liabilities, as well as concrete and asphalt repair throughout northern California, the San Francisco Bay area and the Central Valley, primarily for property management firms with multi-family housing portfolios and home owners associations.
EXPERT WITNESS – AREAS OF ANALYSIS
Using the nearly 24 years of construction related professional experience working with trip hazard liabilities in nearly a dozen states for the purpose of lending legal expertise in order to:
• Explain and analyze the origination of particular trip and fall liabilities
a. Landscaping problems allowing for too much watering of walkways, which can lead to uneven surfaces
b. Weather circumstances where either too much rain or dry heat can affect underlying foundations beneath walkway surfaces
c. Tree roots that have become unmanageable and neglected, causing buckling and heaving of walkway surface areas
d. Heavy machinery that has crushed or collapsed concrete and asphalt areas where pedestrians are susceptible to trip and fall injuries
e. Improper maintenance of property conditions that allow trip hazard liabilities to reoccur
• Offer solutions how trip hazard liabilities can be mitigated or repaired.
a. Through the use of grinding scarifiers to level off raised concrete or asphalt according to ADA specifications
b. Constructing “ramps” to create a more level surface for pedestrian traffic
c. Removing and replacing affected areas with new concrete or asphalt
d. Regular maintenance programs to flag reoccurring problems
• Assign responsibility for trip and fall incidents.
a. Who owns said property where hazards are present
b. The city municipality possibly responsible for perimeter pathways around the property
c. Is owner responsible for maintenence of affected areas to keep them safe and how long has the hazard been ignored
d. Does owner maintain a regular program of maintenance to prevent new trip hazards from regenerating; is there proper lighting at night
e. What is the culpability of pathway user; are they using walkways in a safe manner; is the user aware of signs with no permittance of (ex.) skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, etc.
f. Is the pathway user, for example, a resident of the apartment complex or perhaps a visitor
g. Who are the types of individuals vulnerable to trip hazard liabilities
1. Elderly and infirm
2. Those wearing unstable footwear, ex. high heels
3. Children and youngsters playing inattentively
4. Pedestrians in general
Writing persuasive and defensible reports after gathering pertinent facts and data at hand requires several elements for a comprehensive presentation to be provided for the client, deposition and related trial.
1. Introduction and scope of engagement
2. My qualifications and why I’m best suited for this case
3. Review, research, investigation and enumeration of facts in the case
4. Opinions offered, basis of opinions and summary
If the case is a federal matter, legal requirements and restrictions for the report if used in federal court will include:
a. Complete statement of opinions expressed including the basis and reasons for them
b. Facts and data by the expert witness in forming them
c. Any exhibits used to summarize or support them
d. Expert witness qualifications and all published material authored from the last ten years
e. List of all cases from the last four years testified at trial or deposition
f. Compensation to be paid for study and testimony
g. That the written report was prepared and signed by the expert witness presenting such
STRENGTH OF REPORT
A strong, balanced, comprehensive report presented to client, deposition or court should allow representing counsel to be protected from pitfalls associated with poor report writing, while supporting counsel’s claims with language designed to be as precise and compelling as possible.
a. Staying tightly within expert witness’ area of expertise without over embellishment
b. Use of precise wording with no absolutes such as “always” or “never”
c. Word choice that anticipates aggressive cross-examination and avoidance of such
d. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation
e. Avoidance of unreliable methodologies that may lead to Daubert claims
f. Making clear references of where facts and information were received
g. Presenting a thorough investigation of facts that are not scattered and careless
h. Use of accurate measurements to show thoroughness
i. Avoidance of hedge terms, with words that do not present a confident report
j. Removal of any subjective opinions, speculation and argumentative language that may give expert witness the appearance of personal bias
Sidewalk Safety Inc., California state contractors license #890021. Licensed and bonded in California.
After attending to, in various forms and circumstances, approximately 50,000 walkway trip hazard liabilities over the years, it is undeniable that walkway and surface area dangers, can create pain, suffering and even death, in some instances. The greatest dangers for concern are raised and buckled sidewalk joints created in miles of pathways at multi-family housing complexes; overgrown tree roots; improper landscaping and watering; as well as rain, dry heat and weather conditions that heave and sink underlying walkway foundations and surface areas where pedestrians are susceptible to trip and falls.
As an example, in many cases, it is the shorter, less visible sidewalk trip hazard that can create innumerable trip and falls due their smaller nature, as opposed to larger, more noticeable ones, for example, more than one inch or higher. In one particular professional experience, an apartment resident, in average physical health, pointed out a trip hazard area she had fallen to the ground from and then exhibited the damage to her leg, which revealed severe contusions from ankle to knee. The culprit involved was nothing more than a raised concrete walkway crack an eighth of an inch high.
Some exterior trip and fall hazards are created by slick and slippery surfaces such as algae, tree sap, standing water, oil, grease, paint, chemicals, epoxies and other man-made or natural impediments. Such conditions can be mitigated by the appropriate tools, machinery and surface applicants used to make these walkway areas safer.
There are many variables involved to show cause and effect, but there is no more valuable educational tool to be used than the construction industry experience of assessing and determining the best method available for remedying trip hazard liability situations for the public’s protection and safety, as well as for use in legal proceedings related to deposition and courtroom trials.