Soneff has an uphill climb ahead of him as he tries to hold Lincoln accountable for E70T-4. Their counsel is Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, the firm that represented R.J. Reynolds in the Great American Tobacco Wars. And that’s not all. Remember Robin Shepherd, the SAC earthquake-damage expert, who has a final editing pen in recommendations that go to FEMA and to legislators, who pontificated the quote about L.A.’s probable "collapse"? Well, Lincoln has hired Shepherd as an expert witness to the tune of $200 an hour.
When Soneff deposed him in early February, Shepherd said he had no opinion about whether there were premature failures in steel-frame welds as a result of the Northridge quake. Soneff then asked him about his alarming quote from two years ago, to which Shepherd replied, "I might point out it says, ‘suggests that collapse . . . ’ It doesn’t say it will happen."
So what about the welds? If the tactics surrounding this current quivering mishap surprise anyone, they shouldn’t. Los Angeles, described by our City Council as "the most seismically active zone in the country," could also stand a chance as the most seismically inept. With the scores of aging concrete and masonry brick buildings in the Southland that have never been retrofitted, or even inspected, it’s a wonder that steel structures are getting any attention at all.