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Published at Tuesday, October 13th 2015, 22:46:55 PM by Tommy. Door Matts. Commercial Overhead Doors - Worker Injury Claims A worker is performing a duty near the ceiling within the path of travel of an automatic overhead door. Without warning, the door begins to move and the top edge of the door collides with the worker or what he is standing on, causing the worker to fall to the ground. Every situation is different. Circumstances and information provided affect the outcome of the claim. No two cases are the same and factors that pertain to one case do not always apply to another. Many case scenarios involve a worker that was perched upon a ladder, scissor lift, or some elevated platform with no fall precautions, no assistant working at ground level monitoring him, and no usage of safety harnesses or tie off precautions. Most safety protocols limit working above 6 feet in height without safety restraints in place. Usually, the door has been remotely activated by another person from the exterior, not realizing that there is somebody working within the path of travel of the overhead doorway. In every case, the worker has fallen off of the raised location after making direct or transferred contact with the overhead door top edge. From the perspective of a plaintiffs attorney, there should be some sort of sensor or safety edge on the top end of the overhead door, and they do not think that their clients are responsible for the incident. They usually havent asked if their client was using an approved safety harness or appropriate fall protection when working high above the floor. Nor have they checked to ask their client if there was any consideration given to check that the door would not move when they were working in proximity to it. Defense attorneys are seeking proof that the overhead door is within industry standards. And, hoping that their defendant or cross defendant is without blame or responsibility. These overhead door collision injuries have occurred in a variety of environments including industrial settings, automotive bays, apartment garages, personal residences, loading dock areas, hospitals and hotels. The overhead door industry has adopted specific standards for door safety. Included in these standards are motor controllers with specific reverse functions, safety sensors, and emergency push button controls that can completely disable an overhead door system. Slip clutches are incorporated in most motor controllers. These devices allow a specific force resistance to stop the motor controller action from either pushing or pulling the door when the set threshold is reached, depending upon the product and manufacturer. In most cases where an overhead door upper edge made contact with an obstruction in the path of travel, these force resistance devices were functioning properly. This did not offer any protection to a worker performing services within the path of travel of the door system. The elevated platform did not offer adequate resistance to activate the slip function of the motor controller. The workman should have taken the necessary precautions to make sure that the motor controller was deactivated prior to working in that space. Many commercial overhead doors utilize similar sensor technology to residential overhead doors, others do not. In commercial applications, there are usually more stringent safety devices in place to stop or start the movement of the overhead door system. Commercial doors are usually referred to as "trained traffic" openings. This means that most users of these doorways have been instructed as to how to properly open and close the door by the management of the facility where they are installed. Most residential overhead doorways are considered non-commercial and are generally used by "untrained traffic" where the push of a remote button is all that is needed to operate the door. In general, commercial overhead doors are not designed to monitor or sense the presence of an obstruction within the overhead path of travel of that door system. Motor controllers that contain auto reverse circuits and slip clutches are generally designed to address a downward force to prevent crushing an obstacle in the space between the door bottom and threshold of the system. As of this writing, there are no standards or specifications in place that require the upward leading edge or door top to have any additional sensory systems to prevent contact with a person perched atop a ladder or lift in the path of travel when opening. This will probably not change due to the fact that this type of injury claim is really a workplace training issue, and not a door function issue. Would it make sense to develop a leading edge sensor or some sort of optical device to protect a workman from being hit by the top edge of a moving overhead door? The facts are, that these types of devices already exist and the usage of these safety products for this application have limited value. In most cases, a professional trained workman is aware of the potential for door activation, and would take the necessary steps to make certain that the door cannot move while working within the path of travel of the overhead doorway. The repeated collisions that seem to be happening more frequently are the result of improperly trained workers, not defective door system designs. In most companies, employee training and education involves showing employees how to safely work in any environment where their job might take them. An example of one of the most basic safety rules involves a "lock out and tag program". This "lock out and tag program "has been in effect in numerous trades for decades. In this program, it is the responsibility of any worker to make certain that any moving piece of equipment, powered device, auto start mechanism, or (in this case) doorway, where they will be performing their duties, cannot affect their work space. A few different trade related comparisons may make understanding this concept easier. If a workman were performing duct cleaning in a high rise building, there would typically be high powered fan systems that have thermostats that remotely control those fan motors. Any worker potentially subjected to that fan blade needs to know that the remotely activated motor controller is disconnected, disabled, and will not start while they are cleaning the ducts adjacent to the fan blades. Obstructions that stop the fan blades from turning are typically installed when working in this area to assure the worker that there is no possibility of an inadvertent motor start. Failure to disconnect the fan while working in the area is unsafe and potentially life threatening. In the case of an electrician that needs to work on a remote electrical sub-panel connected to a main service panel in a high rise building, it is common practice to "chain an electrical buss". Padlocking and placing a tag on that service panel makes everyone aware that remote work is taking place, and nobody should attempt to energize the panel without making contact with the lock key holder. When the electrician is finished working, he returns to the padlocked panel, removes the lock and card (tag), and takes the chains off of the buss. In my company, it has always been standard practice to provide an additional level of safety when working in a remote situation. An additional worker would be posted adjacent to the locked out panel to insure that there was no possibility of endangering a worker that was away from the shut-down electrical buss. This is industry standard, and this type of remote safety program applies to all trades as the need presents itself. Working in proximity to a moving door system without knowing that the door system is disconnected and unable to move is potentially hazardous and unsafe. This is equivalent to having an elevator repairman subjected to the movement of an elevator car if a button was pushed to call the car to another level while he was attempting to service the elevator car from inside the elevator shaft. There is no difference in the concept that a worker that is performing any duty adjacent to a moving door make certain that the door cannot be remotely activated. Failure to do so is unsafe and below occupational safety standards. Every commercial doorway and most residential systems have some way of disconnecting the motor controller. Some have manual disconnect buttons, others have keyed locks. In the most primitive situation, a worker could simply unplug the motor controller and push a slide bolt into the doorway frame to insure that the door cannot be opened while he is working in the door path of travel. If none of these methods are suitable, clamps can be attached to the door frame that stop the movement of the door when properly placed. This is ultimately the individual responsibility of the worker. It may be the responsibility of the workers employer to adequately train the worker. But in the final analysis of every jobsite injury where a worker was hit by a piece of moving equipment or automated doorway, the worker must assume the responsibility for not taking appropriate measures to make his workplace safe prior to entering that zone. Untrained and incompetent workers are often the reason for these needless workplace injuries. There is a definite lack of professionalism in the construction trades and service industries today. Often, workers are uneducated or are not adequately instructed by the people that hire them. These untrained and unskilled workers should never have been allowed to work in these locations to begin with. Many times, the worker that was injured was the owner of the company that was providing the service. There is absolutely no excuse for an injury of this kind to occur. Simple trade standard safety precautions would have completely eliminated the hazard. Failure to do so has created frivolous claims that are generally due to lack of personal responsibility and common sense practices.


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Published at Tuesday, October 13th 2015, 21:33:55 PM by Tommy. Door Matts. Door Defects & Related Injury Claims - A Guided Tour of Manual Doors & Hardware We are all used to opening and closing doors on a daily basis. Unless you encounter a problem with the function of your doors, you probably dont give their operation and component make up much thought. I am continually contacted by attorneys seeking my advice on an injury that took place because of an improperly adjusted or malfunctioning door. In this article, I am simply discussing manually operated doors. Nothing fancy or automatic about them, the kind where you grab a lever, push a plate or bang on a bar to enter or leave a room or building. So, if you want to learn to communicate professionally and simply with your door expert or even your building manager, read on. Doors are actually a pretty simple and early invention. They probably started with a couple of wide planks to enclose an opening to keep out the weather or separate your belongings from the animals. Modern door systems are much more complex, but still do the basics. They keep your stuff protected from the elements, animals and other people. While this article is in no means meant to be exhaustive and highly technical, there are a few things that need identification in order for all of us to properly understand their functions and be able to effectively communicate information. A basic door system is made up of a framed opening, hinges, door, and door latch or lock. As separation and security requirements increase, the door system begins to increase in complexity. The basic door is either considered an unrated fire separation component or a rated fire separation component. Unrated doors, frames and hardware: Unrated doors are installed in locations that do not participate in keeping a fire contained. They are typical in most home locations, with the usual exception of a garage to interior home doorway. Unrated doors may be approved for some exterior exit doorways in commercial buildings, as well as interoffice openings. You have probably seen wooden raised panel doors, hollow slab doors, or hand carved ornate doors that appear more like artwork than a doorway. These doors are typically unrated, and do a fine job maintaining separation and privacy in our homes and offices. We are able to use these types of unrated doors in many locations, both residential and commercially, because designers or architects have located fire control walls and separations as part of the building design that make individual fire walls unnecessary. These doorways do not have the stringent requirements for their hardware, frames or doors that a fire rated doorway must have. Fire rated door systems: Fire rated doors, along with other augmented system components are able to contain a fire without burning through for a known and tested period of time. Typical ratings of fire doors are 20, 45, 60, 90, and 180 minutes. Uniform building codes and local fire codes determine the appropriate separations needed for a specific area of every building. A fire rated opening is only as good as its weakest component. Therefore, along with a rated door, you need to have a rated frame assembly. There are many types of fire rated frames in the commercial market. Frames also undergo specific testing to rate their ability to withstand fire for a period of time. Commercially available standard rated frames are made from a variety of products. Rating can be achieved for hollow metal steel frames, aluminum frames, and specially treated wood frames. The correct application and method of attachment of each type of these frames will limit or rate the opening to match the condition and rating of the wall that it is part of. Frames are made up of a minimum of three components: A left leg, a right leg, (both vertical pieces) and the header (horizontal piece of the frame). Other more complex frames have the three components plus a clipped on casing mold. Some frames, particularly when associated and required with more stringent fire ratings will be fabricated into one welded assembly. Appropriate installation of all frames requires sturdy and positive attachment to the wall opening and floor system. To assure that the door will not be blown out of the framed opening during a fire, fire rated hardware must be used in conjunction with the fire rated frame. Ratings are given to hinges, door locks, panic bars and other locking devices and related components. To increase the effective barrier from a fire, a seal or gasket of some sort must be used around the opening of the door, as well as along the door bottom. In conjunction with these smoke seals there needs to be a non-combustible threshold between the floor and door sweep. These seals are in place to protect the occupants of an adjacent room from smoke or poisonous gases released from a fire, and are designed to allow more time for evacuation from the fire zone. Lets talk about how to describe a door opening: It is important to accurately explain what a door opening looks like and how it functions over the phone so that both parties are visualizing the same type of opening. If you want to do a little preliminary investigation, here are some things that are helpful in describing the door and frame to your expert. First, measure the opening so that you know the rough height and width of the door. The height measurement is taken between the floor and header piece location where the door rests. The width measurement is taken between the door legs at the widest point where the door rests between the legs of the frame. More information about door frames later in this article. A typical commercial door measurement might be 84" high x 36" wide. The actual door size will be slightly smaller, but that is not important for this exercise. A residential door, particularly in older homes, may be 80"high x 32" wide. Obviously, site conditions vary from location to location. Exact measurements may be critical later on in your case, but that is why you have contacted an expert to investigate. Next, determine if the door opens into the room that you are standing in or away from that room. Does the door swing from the left or right side? Here is a tip on how to figure this out. If you are standing inside a room that the door swings into: Place your back against the door and see if the hinges are on the right side of your body or the left side. If right, you have a right hand door, if left, it is left handed. Remember this saying: "Your BUTT to the hinge BUTT". If you are in a room outside of where the door swings into, it gets a little more confusing as to how to describe the handing, but for simplicity, just look into the room and see if the door swings to the right or the left. It may be important to know, as your case may "HINGE".... Ha, ha, ha...on this detail! Now that the hard part is done, take a look at the door. What is it made of? Wood, Metal, glass, plastic laminate, etc... Does it have a label of any kind on it indicating a fire rating or special information? Does it have any distinguishing features such as scarring, scratches, damage of any kind? Generally, what condition is the door in? Does it look old or show wear, or is it new and in good shape? Is the door dragging on the floor or rubbing on the frame? Swing the door a few times to see if something is not working properly. Now, check out the hardware on the door. How many hinges are attached to the door and frame? Do the hinges appear to be solidly attached to the door? Are the screws loose and pulling out of the door or frame? Measure what size the hinges are, if you can. Measure from the top of the hinge to the bottom of one hinge only. They should all be the same size. Are they? Note what color they are. Are they rusty, covered in dust or grease, old or new looking? Does the door have any type of knob or lever on it? Does it have a key lock? Is it activated remotely or by some sort of touch pad? Does it have a panic bar exit device on it, or are we looking at a conventional door lock set? Does it have a round orbit type of knob or a lever to activate the lock? Does the door have a door closer on it? Is the closer on the inside of the door or the outside of the door? What condition does the overall hardware seem to be in? Are there kick plates or push plates on the door? Take a photograph of the door, if you can, for your file. Actual Case Experience: Several years ago an early photograph of a door problem, taken immediately after an injury happened, showed that changes had been made to installed hardware. It was claimed by the opposition, during written discovery and deposition testimony that no alterations of any kind had been done to the doors since the injury occurred. After a site visit, I was given the early photos to evaluate, and immediately saw that the hardware had all been changed. This revelation led to some pretty interesting settlement negotiations in favor of my client. So get the pictures, if possible! As long as you are examining the door, you should take a brief look at the frame and the frames attachment to the wall. How is the frame oriented to the wall? Is there any space on either side of the wall, and what proximity to a perpendicular wall does it have? Is the frame metal, wood or some other material? Does it have a fire rated label or specialty tag on it? Does it appear to be solidly attached to the wall? Are the hinges solidly attached to the frame and door? Does the frame look scratched or worn, and are there grooves or dents? Now that you have made a preliminary evaluation of the door, you are through with your basic inspection. You have seen firsthand what the site conditions are, and hopefully used my suggestions to evaluate the door for yourself. Summary: While your door expert should be thoroughly versed on every aspect of doors, door hardware, and installation elements, your ability to effectively describe the site shows your professionalism and concern for your case. Doors are either fire rated or unrated. Not all doors need to be rated. They all have basic components such as hinges, locks, or panic devices. Door swing can be determined, as described above. Early photos and expert inspection of an event site can be extremely important for your case. Hiring a competent door expert and capturing critical evidence is one of the most important things that you can do for your client. Glossary of terms (as they apply to door components in this article): Hinge: a device usually consisting of two leaves interlaced to receive a removable pin allowing for movement of the two leaves so that a positive attachment can be made to two individual stabile components. Closer: A hydraulic or spring loaded device designed to draw, retard or bring together a door to the door framed opening. Swing; The direction of movement and arced path of travel taken by a door in a framed opening. Panic device: A piece of hardware designed to work without any special knowledge, activated by applying force to a bar usually positioned horizontally across the face of the door. Frame: The product bordering a wall opening allowing connection between wall and door. Lock set: Any lock device that works in concert with a latch and strike plate. Smoke seal: Any material capable of gasketing a framed opening. The material that the seal is composed of is specifically designed to isolate transfer of smoke and poisonous gases emitted by a fire. Door sweep: A piece of weather-stripping or smoke seal designed to stop air, smoke or other objects from entering underneath a closed door. Acts like a broom to sweep along the floor, sealing the door bottom. Threshold: The boundary of two areas associated with a door way. The material located directly underneath a closed door. Depending on rating requirements, a variety of materials are used. Latch: The bolt that physically holds a door closed when engaged in a strike plate working as part of a lockset. Strike plate: The plate attached to a door frame, with a hole to receive the latch.


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Published at Tuesday, October 13th 2015, 23:50:55 PM by justin. Door Matts. Door Injuries and "The Eggshell Plaintiff" Every good attorney needs to consider the validity of every potential claim. As discovery has often shown, people in poor physical or mental condition who are left unattended or unassisted while moving through doorways are often the genesis of their own injuries. All commercial venues have the responsibility to maintain their facilities to industry wide standards, seek proper routine maintenance, and provide daily inspections of their door systems. However, it is difficult to provide safe passage to every patron of their facilities when some of those patrons may include persons requiring diligent physical supervision, special assistance walking, or have special needs due to disease, mental incapacity, or other unknown infirmities. Many door cases are the result of malfunctioning door components. Other cases are created by the inappropriate usage of door operator products that simply do not provide the needed services. However, one other critical factor continually plays a significant part in many door injury accidents - The overall physical condition of the user of any door system. When assessing a door claim, it is often a clear cut case of poor maintenance, lack of appropriate service work, or some other deferred condition. Other times, there have been extraneous conditions that should have been examined before a piece of door equipment was chosen for the installation. Many automatic door injuries occur because of a lack of daily inspections, or the absence of a thorough understanding of the potential harm that a high energy door system can cause. Low energy door systems have created severe injuries and death as well. When non-automatic manual or hydraulic door closers are installed they are often ignored and left to deteriorate. As discussed in some of my previously published articles, malfunctioning hydraulic manual door closers have been responsible for creating serious injuries including severe tearing of ligaments and muscles, head trauma, broken bones, and death THE "EGGSHELL PLAINTIFF" While most states observe the concept that the physical condition of an injured person prior to the subject lawsuit is not to be considered, it has been my experience that many door injury and wrongful death cases have involved an already debilitated person. Some Plaintiffs attorneys seeking to establish a claim do not consider or prefer to overlook the fact that the injured party may have had an existing condition prior to the accident. The potential plaintiff is sometimes brought to the property by an attendant or caregiver, and that physically or mentally debilitated person makes the decision to enter a door (automated or manual) without the assistance of an aid or any attending supervision. This article does not pertain to the ADA wheelchair population who have become accustomed to using ADA accessible doors. The focus of this article is on other common pedestrian traffic that includes senior citizens. In many cases, a person has been so frail and fragile that in outward appearance it seems that a mild wind could blow that person down. As often observed on video recordings that captured the incident; no physical contact was ever shown between the alleged defective door mechanism and the Plaintiff. CASE EXAMPLES - Injuries or Death Involving the Elderly 1. Elderly woman injured while entering retail store - A woman that had multiple sclerosis, used a walker, and wore a helmet on her head to guard against fall injuries made the claim that a high energy swinging door had hit her as she attempted to enter a retail outlet. There was video footage showing that the door never got within a foot of making contact with the woman. A witness using a parallel entry door stated that the woman fell down before she ever reached the door. The elderly woman had a caregiver with her, however, that caregiver entered the store approximately twenty feet in front of the woman she was supposed to be attending. 2. Woman loses balance entering hotel - An elderly woman with severe lower back problems, using a cane, tried to enter a building by pulling on a door that did not operate after she had pushed what she believed was the door activation button. According to the video footage, the woman had pushed another activation plate that controlled an adjacent doorway. The doorway that she tried to enter had a self-energizing door control motor which activated when she pulled on the handle. Becoming startled, the woman backed up, lost her balance, and fell to the floor breaking her hip. 3. Man forgets his cane - An elderly gentleman approached a big box store to do some shopping. He inappropriately used the store shopping cart as a walking assistance (walker). He approached the entry door, and for some reason decided to discard the shopping cart as he was entering the store. Apparently, he did not let go of the shopping cart handle in time and fell over a dividing guard rail as he released the cart. The man severely injured his shoulder and arm, and filed a lawsuit against the store claiming that the automatic entry door struck him. 4. Medical patient injured at dialysis center - A seriously ill man was dropped off to undergo dialysis treatment. The man could barely walk, and should have been met at the curb by an attendant from the treatment facility. The person that dropped off the man was in a hurry, became distracted with an incoming phone call as her father was exiting her car and failed to notify the dialysis service that her father was seated on a bench in front of the building. The man, being left at the curb by his daughter, waited a couple of minutes for someone to help him enter the building and then decided that he would walk to the treatment center, open the door himself and go in. The door was not automatic, but had a manual hydraulic door closer. As the man was entering, another patient leaving the building, in an attempt to help the man enter, pulled the door inward and he fell forward into the treatment center. Due to his poor physical condition he sustained life threatening injuries and later died of impact trauma related issues. 5. Casino patron injured in revolving door - A woman in a motorized cart decided to enter a revolving automatic doorway, lost control of the cart and crashed into the revolving door panel in front of her, breaking her leg. There were two adjacent cart accessible doorways that were designed to allow entry using an electric scooter, but the woman chose to use the revolving door. The incident was caught on video and clearly showed the woman recklessly operating the cart and entering the wrong door system. 6. Automatic sliding door injury - A man was leaving a store where automatic sliding doors were properly operating. He interpreted the movement of the doorway incorrectly and believed that the doors swung away from him as he was leaving. He pushed into the sliding doorway as the device was beginning to open, and due to the weight of his body, he broke out the properly functioning emergency egress mechanism and became entangled in the doorway, breaking his hip. Frequently, when a Plaintiffs attorney files a new door related case, a claim is made that the store or facility was negligent in maintaining the doorway and its related hardware systems. Claims are made that the venue has a duty to provide a safe environment for its patrons, or that improper notifications or warnings were given regarding the doorways, etc. However, in the above referenced cases, the responsible parties for the injuries incurred were the users of the doorways themselves. The people that were involved in these cases, and dozens of other cases similar to these, simply should not have been left unattended by their caregivers or partners. WHAT HAPPENED THROUGH DISCOVERY AS THESE CASES DEVELOPED? Case 1 - A caregiver was sent to escort the elderly woman while shopping. It was discovered in depositions that followed the claim that the elderly woman and her caregiver had gotten into an argument in the parking lot. The caregiver left the elderly woman outside the store, and went into the store without her. They simply were mad at one another, and the caregiver admitted during a deposition that she was responsible for the womans injuries. The negligent party was the caregiver, not the many named defendants. Case 2 - A husband had dropped off his wife at the entrance to the medical building and told her to wait in the lobby until he could park the car and return to assist her. The woman was either confused or did not understand what his intentions were, and became injured when she attempted to enter the facility. The low energy door was not malfunctioning, the user of the door simply was in need of assistance when walking and never should have attempted to enter the building alone. Case 3 - This incident occurred in much the same way as Case #2. The gentlemans wife dropped her husband off near the entrance to the store. He saw a loose shopping cart outside the store and she told him to hold onto the cart until she could park the car. It seems that he had forgotten his cane at home, and they had forgotten their ADA parking pass. Instead of waiting for his wife, the man proceeded into the store before his wife could get back to his side to assist him. When the man made the wrong decision to discard the cart by attempting to throw it off to his side, he simply tripped himself, and was injured without ever activating the automatic door system. Case 4 - The daughter of the elderly man was ultimately responsible for her fathers fall. She was the person that was charged with delivering and picking up her father and negligently left him unattended at the curb of the dialysis treatment center. Case 5 - The woman who drove her motorized cart into a revolving door was in such a hurry to enter the building, she never paid any attention to the other ways that she could enter more safely. Her husband had dropped her as close to the entrance as possible, had given her instructions to wait for him while he parked their car. She decided that he was taking too long. She was so impatient to enter the building that during the time she was waiting (video shows) she drove her cart between three openings outside of the building. During discovery, her testimony revealed that she wanted to get to her favorite slot machine before someone else did. Case 6 - The man that pushed through a sliding door system apparently did not understand what should have been obvious. Through discovery, it was shown that the man suffered from dementia and early stages of Alzheimers disease. He simply should not have been unattended and he literally forced an emergency function of a properly operating automatic door system to create his injury. Many times, opposing expert opinions have attempted to cite all kinds of regulations and standards that simply do not apply to these types of physically or mentally compromised door users. In a recent case, another severely debilitated person claims to have been struck by an improperly operating low energy door. After a visit was made to examine the doorway a few days after the incident occurred it was found that the door was operating within all of the parameters that are required by industry and manufacturers standards. Yet, a retained opposing expert thought that citing a regulation about door warning labels would have made this door function differently. WHAT IF? What if the door did not have a power operated control? What if the door had a simple manual hydraulically controlled type of door closer? What if the door had no operator or closer of any type? Would the elderly debilitated pedestrian have been able to safely negotiate the doorway? In this example and many others, the door functions were not improper. The doors had been adequately maintained, and the overall adjacent surface factors such as the coefficient of friction (a very popular ploy to place blame on a property owner) was indisputably adequate. There had been no adverse weather conditions such as wind, rain, or snow build up. And, it was a reasonably warm, sunny day when the incident occurred. The person using the doorway was simply in very poor physical condition, and needed constant assistance when walking anywhere. The man was being taken home from a doctor office visit by his son, and was told to wait inside seated until his son could bring the car around. The elderly man, on his own volition, decided to try and walk outside to wait for the son returning with the car. All anybody knows for certain about this incident is that the man was found face down on the pavement outside the building with a broken hip. He was taken to an emergency room nearby, and upon examination, no bruising, blunt force trauma or other signs of being hit by a door were noticed. The man regularly took blood thinners, and would routinely bruise or bleed from the slightest touch or impact. So, if he had been struck by a malfunctioning door, the physical evidence should have been plainly visible when he was examined by the emergency room doctors. There are dozens of other cases where inappropriately supervised elderly people have sustain alleged injuries caused by all types of "malfunctioning doors". There is certainly the requirement that all doors be appropriately maintained on a routine basis. Improperly maintained door systems injure and kill many people every year, and there is no excuse for lack of inspection and service when needed. However, there is a significant personal responsibility on the part of any debilitated person, caregiver or assistant to make certain that proper and adequate supervision and care is given at all times when a person is out in a public venue. Every good attorney needs to consider the validity of every potential claim. As the most frequently retained door expert witness, working for both Plaintiff and Defense evenly, Michael Panish has been retained on door injury and wrongful death claims that were not caused by malfunctioning doors or door hardware. As discovery has often shown, people in poor physical or mental condition who are left unattended or unassisted are often the genesis of their own injuries. All commercial venues have the responsibility to maintain their facilities to industry wide standards, seek proper routine maintenance, and provide daily inspections of their door systems. However, it is difficult to provide safe passage to every patron of their facilities when some of those patrons may include persons requiring diligent physical supervision, special assistance walking, or have special needs due to disease, mental incapacity, or other unknown infirmities.


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