I have been serving as a "expert witness" to reality in a law suit case between a home owner and the city, on the side of the city. It is a "fragile skull" case, where the city is responsible for vibration damage, a minor part of the damage to a house which suffers from desiccated soils, which the city is not responsible for. The house foundations should have been mudjacked years ago, long before the city project, but it was not. The owner considered it just fine before. The house had become stressed in many ways.
The vibration event occurred, two years of LRT construction. Now where shrinkage of soil occurs, the soil may separate from the foundation rather than completely settle. This is due to bridging, hogging, and structural stiffness of the foundation walls. This is the purpose they are intended for, but not to the extent that occurs with desiccated soils.
Vibration creates forces in 3D space, radial outward, vertical and tangential to the radius. The vertical are +/- a few percent of gravity, the radial are substantial, and the tangential the lesser lateral force and out of time with the radial. So any damage that is due to lateral radial force is likely vibration damage, if there is nothing else that would cause lateral forces.
So when one shakes a fragile house, and some stress is released by cracking and vertical settlement, who is responsible? And then settlement continues due to additional desiccation, who is responsible?
Now lawyers do not need to tell the truth, or accept reality. The legal system is a dumpster where the worst of the dirt can be found, so the question is how does one keep from letting any of the stupidity, ignorance, and other bullshit rub off onto a expert? And more to the point, how can we remain untroubled by what we see, hear, and understand? Because the home owner did not notice the movement or did not acknowledge movement does not mean it was not there. And home owner's lawyer is a
There is damage, but not a new house's worth.