Case Study

Materials Science

Materials Science is an interdisciplinary field concerned with studying and understanding the properties of all materials, from those used in everyday products (e.g., metals, ceramics, rubber) to those laypeople may be less familiar with (e.g., materials that are compatible with human tissues for medical prosthetics and implants, composites made from two or more substances).  Through understanding how materials work, materials scientists or engineers can create new materials for new applications, as well as modify existing materials to improve performance.

In litigation, Materials Science experts are needed for cases involving allegations of the failure or misuse of a particular material in a particular application.  For example, we were contacted by a plaintiff’s attorney in a case involving a child who was injured when a ferret escaped from a “ferret carrier” made of nylon mesh.  The ferret pushed/chewed its way through the carrier’s zipper and repeatedly bit a baby’s nose, causing significant injury.  One of the issues in the case was whether the material used for the carrier was appropriate, given the product’s stated purpose of safely containing ferrets.

We provided an expert with a PhD in Materials Science to evaluate the product and opine on whether the nylon mesh was the appropriate material.  This expert is a full professor at a internationally respected school of engineering and design.  He is active in research on the mechanical behavior of textile materials and composites as well as green materials and processes.  He has written or is published in 17 books, has 3 patents, 50 refereed publications, and over 120 presentations in his field.  He is recognized as an international expert.

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