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A Litigation Support CASE STUDY
Groundwater intrusion at exclusive ski resort


    Scott Snyder, Principal Hydrogeologist for Snyder Geologic, worked with a Los Angeles-based law firm and a construction-defect consultant to defend their client against a lawsuit claiming that building design and construction flaws caused water intrusion and damage at an upscale ski resort complex.

Among other identified issues, the plaintiff in the lawsuit claimed that poor design and flawed construction led to groundwater intrusion beneath multi million dollar residences at a ski resort. The claim indicated that poor drainage, combined with a lack of maintenance resulted in the weakening of the building structures causing failure of the floors in certain units.

Mr. Snyder was able to provide technical support in the form of inspections, data analysis, and clear and concise technical presentations that documented the natural conditions caused the damage, most of which could not be reasonably expected to be mitigated by any form of construction consistent with industry standards. We also asserted that large accumulations of snowfall that were not regularly removed by the HOA (the plaintiff), not groundwater, were largely the cause of water intrusion. Also, precautions and other maintenance by the current owners could have prevented failure of portions of the structures. Through careful analysis and a rebuttal of plaintiffs’ claims in mediation, the water intrusion claims were refuted and used in combination with other arguments by team members to reach a settlement that saved the defendant millions in unnecessary repairs that would not have resulted in changed conditions at the site.