You get what you pay for!
The most experienced forensic experts in the swimming pool & spa construction field, pass on the frequent invitations from the State to become an expert witness.
There are a multitude of reasons.. the first is the pay. It is peanuts compared to what these experts can make in the private sector inspecting projects for insurance companies, wealthy property owners and contractors.
The second major reason, is that if the findings from the State arbitration is appealed to a civil court, the expert is not compensated by the State. The expert will find themselves sitting in depositions, hearings and a court trial for FREE!
Finally, they are not compensated for the time it actually takes to complete a thorough report. The report for a complex project (vanishing edge pool) may take 20-40 hours to research and prepare. The State simply does not have the resources to investigate your case thoroughly.
Limited Scope of Investigation
The State's expert is limited in what they can investigate. If the State's expert is only licensed to build swimming pools, then he may not be able to comment on other work that may be deficient.
Additionally, the State's expert is not allow to completely investigate the project's compliance from "heat to toe." They are limited to only commenting on the issues in the homeowner's complaint. In other words, they are not allowed to analyze the entire project - only those items that the homeowner is aware or complaining of. Most homeowners are not experts, so they may not be aware that there were problems with the soils, shotcrete (gunite), plumbing, electrical, concrete deck steel, etc.
Though there may be more serious underlying problems - the homeowner will never be made aware of them.
An independent expert will issue a thorough report that addresses the entire project. That report can be included in the homeowner's complaint to the State Contractor's Licensing Board. That is usually all that will be required for them to issue a finding.
Should the dispute ever progress to litigation, the expert will be compensated for their time. And, if the homeowner prevails in court, they may be entitled to reimbursement by the contractor for the costs associated with the expert witness.
So, don't you deserve the most thorough evaluation of your project possible? It may disclose structural or safety issues that you weren't even aware of!
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa