IEI is an incorporated business in the state of Maryland and has been in business for 18 years. IEI's founder and principle investigator is Michael Wald, a nationally recognized expert in the investigation of electrical failure incidents and accidents involving electrical equipment. Mr. Wald has over 25 years' experience investigating incidents involving the installation, maintenance, design and manufacture of consumer electronics, residential and commercial power and wiring systems, and industrial electrical equipment and has performed almost 4000 investigations. He has testified in both Federal and State courts in over a dozen states. (See Michael Wald Bio and printable resume)
IEI also employs the services of Mechanical Engineering Consultant Michael Zazula. Mr. Zazula is a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and has been providing engineering support and expert testimony for the legal and insurance industry for 15 years. He specializes in the investigation and analysis of vehicle fires, plumbing failures, and gas explosions in addition to fires involving HVAC equipment, boilers, industrial vehicles, and gas appliances. Mr. Zazula has performed over 1,000 investigations and has testified in numerous arbitrations, depositions and trials in the Mid-Atlantic region.
IEI maintains its business office and an evidence storage warehouse in Annapolis, MD. IEI also maintains an evidence storage warehouse in Aston, PA. Both of these facilities contain environmentally controlled storage and an examination area equipped with hand and power tools where equipment can be disassembled and examined or operationally tested. IEI maintains a relationship with various laboratories where metallurgical testing, X-rays, CT scans and other more technical analyses can be performed conveniently.
IEI maintains cooperative agreements with several other engineering investigators, computer graphics personnel, and administrative assistants. Should any of these services be required, they will be billed on an hourly basis and under the same general conditions described above.
Fee Schedule for Consulting Services
The current hourly billing rate for Mr. Wald is $295 and for Mr. Zazula's is $245 for all investigative activities including travel, on-site investigation, laboratory testing and analysis, and document review. This rate is often discounted for travel, on a case-by-case basis, for matters where extended travel time is involved. This rate includes the use of standard investigative tools and equipment including cameras and film, electronic test equipment, and power tools.
The rate for deposition and trial testimony is $400 per hour. Deposition or trial testimony which is canceled less than 48 hours before the scheduled appearance time will be charged a cancellation fee of 4 hours for local appearances and 8 hours for out of town appearances.
All other travel expenses are billed at actual cost with no mark-ups and business vehicle mileage is charged at 55 cents per mile. As a private pilot with access to an airplane, Mr. Wald can often get to remote locations more quickly and more economically than by driving or taking commercial carriers. The hourly rate for usage of his airplane is $185 per hour for actual flight time.