Telecommunication Equipment Contamination

The Insured claimed that a Private Branch Exchange Telecommunication Switch was contaminated by highly corrosive substances from a building collapse and required replacement at a cost of $25 million. The Insured hired an outside expert to support their damage opinion. Based on our inspection, we were not convinced the switch was contaminated from the building collapse. Dust inside electronic equipment is normal over time, so we recommended that chemical constituent analysis be conducted on both the impurities inside the switch and the contamination resulting from the building collapse. In addition, we recommended that historical contamination data for the area be compared to the aforementioned two samples because there is contamination from virtually every environment, every day. We retained an independent lab to evaluate these samples, and the Insured did too. The analytical results proved that the particulates within the switch did not have the same chemical fingerprint as the contamination from the building collapse. The chemical fingerprint of the dust within the switch closely matched the chemical fingerprint of the historical contamination (normal environmental contamination). Based on this analysis, the Insured withdrew their $25 million claim.