Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX starts with an investigation of the claim and follows through with management when required. We confirm that contracts include reasonable unit costs for essential remedy work and negotiate as necessary with the parties involved to minimize the cost of the claim. VERTEX’s knowledge of the insurance industry coupled with our technical expertise in environmental, engineering, and construction are integral factors in providing value to our clients.

Claim Investigation

VERTEX is one of the top consulting firms for property-related claim management. VERTEX starts services at cause and origin investigation to provide insight to any environmental claim. Experts in air quality, hazardous materials and pollution are cross-trained and understand the insurance industry to better serve your claim.

Claim Budgeting

Insurance carriers face a number of challenges and have developed varying in-house expertise when it comes to property claims. VERTEX specializes in environmental claims and through decades of services, can supplement in-house capabilities with specific expertise in each of the property lines to help our clients develop realistic closure budgets.

Claim Management

VERTEX focuses our claim management expertise across the gamut of claims including: environmental, air quality, catastrophe, and fire/explosion to name a few.  VERTEX can supplement your own in-house team or support when claims require specific expertise. Using proprietary technology and executed by the top claim and risk consulting professionals in the industry, VERTEX can offer solutions globally.

Claim Closure

VERTEX experts have a reputation for providing value-added solutions. Expedient, efficient claim closure is essential in adding value. VERTEX is unique in that our environmental professionals also work with developers, real estate owners as well as lenders; because we see environmental matters from all angles, VERTEX is highly proficient at claim closure.

Subrogation

VERTEX understands that environmental claims will oftentimes lead to subrogation. VERTEX has over two decades of experience with subrogation matters and we constantly refine our claim investigation, claim management as well as our documentation protocols to expertly manage your claim so that subrogation can be handled with efficiency.

Expert Witness

VERTEX’s pool of experts have testified in state courts, federal courts, and arbitration. Our experts are qualified in hazardous building material claims, air quality claims, environmental spills, cost estimating, allocation, environmental remediation means and methods, subrogation and claims management.

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Key Personnel

Assistant Vice President, Environmental

Catherine Pierce

Catherine Pierce

Catherine Pierce has over 18 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry. She has provided consulting services related to insurance loss control, environmental site assessments, field investigation activities, scheduling and coordination of subcontractor activities, regulatory reporting, collection of soil and groundwater samples, and data analysis. Ms. Pierce has completed cost control reviews for a broad range of environmental remedial activities on behalf of clients, including multi-million dollar cleanups. 

Currently, Ms. Pierce serves as an Vice President at VERTEX. Her primary responsibilities include management of clients and VERTEX staff for environmental claims across the United States. Ms. Pierce is the direct supervisor for VERTEX’s Morrisville, North Carolina and Seattle, Washington offices and has extensive experience with contaminated sites across the United States. Ms. Pierce is responsible for providing claim management services to insurance clients including risk management, claim investigation, remedial investigations, regulatory reporting, cost negotiation and closure negotiation.

Vice President, Environmental Insurance

Christopher Miceli

Christopher Miceli

Christopher Miceli is a Vice President at VERTEX. He has managed numerous environmental and professional liability claims in New Jersey, New York and across the United States. His responsibilities include client management, schedule coordination, and staffing of field investigations, claim investigations, and claim management projects. Claims have included cause and origin investigations, subrogation analysis, petroleum remediation of first and third party losses, pollution policies, cost cap policies, and indoor air quality claims.

Mr. Miceli has been responsible for the supervision, direction and budgetary control of more than 800 remedial actions. He was directly responsible for all phases of each project including proposal writing/bidding, remedial action assessment/design, remedial action implementation, field sampling and directives, regulatory reporting and correspondence with all applicable parties including clients, insurance companies, attorneys, and regulatory agents. 

Assistant Vice President, Environmental Insurance

Annica Brown

Annica Brown

Annica Brown has over 10 years of experience in the Environmental Consulting industry. She has worked on several environmental cleanup projects throughout the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Hawaii. She currently investigates pollution loss and origination and performs technical oversight of oil and/or hazardous material loss insurance claims throughout the Pacific Northwest to ensure investigation and remediation activities are cost effective and appropriate.

As Assistant Vice President at VERTEX, Ms. Brown is responsible for providing claim management services to insurance clients including risk management, claim investigation, remedial investigations, regulatory reporting, cost negotiation and closure negotiation. She has significant experience working in Washington State with the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE), and the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) to ensure investigations and remedial activities are in compliance with WDOE’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and actively working towards site closure.

Her experience includes analyzing data, developing conceptual site models, and preparing project status reports, remedial investigation reports, feasibility studies, cleanup action plans, and work plans. She has also coordinated and managed subcontractors during monitoring well installation, excavation of contaminated soil, injection of in-situ chemical oxidation and in-situ bioremediation, and installation of a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system in compliance with Washington Administrative Code and engineering design specifications.

Blog

Environmental Claims Consulting - Evaluating the Reasonableness of Cleanup Costs

November 13, 2018

As environmental claims managers and investigators, VERTEX has been involved in claims and reviewed cleanup contractor invoices for various types of HazMat losses throughout the United States and internationally. They have included anything from aboveground/underground storage tank releases, motor vehicle accidents and tractor-trailer roll-overs, residential fuel oil spills, and petrol-chemical facilities, to all the different…

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PFAS (PFC) Contamination in the Environment

August 3, 2018

What are Polyfluorinated and Perfluorinated Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)? Polyfluorinated and Perfluorinated Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals that were discovered in 1938 and were utilized in the manufacture of a multitude of consumer products including non-stick cookware, protective coatings (consumer stain treatments, waterproof fabrics, etc), food wrappers (pizza boxes, sandwich wrappers, popcorn…

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A Case for Pre-Acquisition Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions

July 24, 2018

After a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment identifies a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), the next step in the Environmental Due Diligence process may include conducting a Phase II Subsurface Investigation. An environmental subsurface investigation is when VERTEX evaluates the subsurface condition of a site, which can include evaluation of soil, groundwater, and soil gas. For…

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Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Standards in Mexico

June 25, 2018

In Mexico, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is covered by Laws (Ley Federal del Trabajo), Regulations (Reglamento Federal de Seguridad, Higiene y Medio Ambiente de Trabajo), and NOMs (Norma Oficial Mexicana).  While similar to OSHA Standards in the U.S., Mexican OH&S standards vary based on the regulatory agency that has promulgated the regulations. Agencies regulating…

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2015 EPA UST Regulations - October 2018 Implementation Deadline Approaching

June 21, 2018

History of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations As of March 2018, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported 540,979 confirmed releases associated with underground storage tank (UST) systems. When USTs leak, the contents (petroleum and hazardous chemicals) can contaminate the surrounding soil and groundwater (a drinking water source). In order to protect…

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