Expertly Speaking

Registered nurse Expert Witness

DJS Welcomes Stacy L. Donnelly, RN, BSN, and
Christa A. Bakos, RN, CWCN, DAPWCA


Christa and Stacy independently possess over 20 years of experience in the medical field, specializing in nursing, nursing home, hospital, home health, and wound care for pre-litigation and litigation cases. Their services include record review, merit review, medical chronologies, and chart organization at the early pre- litigation stages, as well as performing inspections, analyses, report writing, and testimony for litigation cases.

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Construction Site Incident

Construction Site Incident


Lt. Col Bryan J. Smith, P.E., Construction Site Safety Expert

Case Description/Summary: During the construction of a multi-tenant housing unit, the general contractor directed one of their subcontractors (the one installing sheet metal siding on the building’s exterior) to work in a zone that had the masons actively working as well. The sheet metal worker was using a manlift to access his elevated work area, a location immediately adjacent to and under the masons’ self-supporting, mast climbing work platform (such as a “Fraco” scaffold system unit). While performing his work, the sheet metal worker was injured when a portion of brick was dropped onto him by a mason working on the Fraco scaffold.

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Swimming Safety

Drowning Prevention is Easy. Adult Supervision is Hard.


Tom J. Griffiths, Ed.D., Aquatics Safety Expert

For more than 50 years, water safety agencies and child safety advocates have been promoting stronger, more vigilant supervision of children by their parents and care givers. Mantras like touch supervision, reach supervision, active supervision, and more have all been used to emphasize the need for constant, vigilant supervision in and around the water. While we must continue to motivate adults to do a better job of watching their children at pools, waterparks, and open-water areas, we must remember adults are prone to human error and are often distracted from their parental responsibilities. Most people do not appreciate how quick, quiet, and subtle drownings are, and as a result, even the slightest distraction can result in a drowning death. In my professional opinion, distractions are now and are going to become even more of a problem in the future due to handheld technologies and social media available. We already have had drownings occur while the “supervising” adult took pictures of the (soon to be) victim in the water and began sending the images to families and friends without noticing their child slipped beneath the surface and drowned.

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Sump Pump Expert Witness

Sump Pumps System Failure Code: Non-Compliance


James J. Shields, P.E., Mechanical Engineer

Case Synopsis – A homeowner previously installed a basement sump pump system for the removal of storm water. The system consisted of a float-operated AC-powered motor-driven centrifugal pump, which was mounted in a below ground sump tank. The discharge piping from the pump was run through the sump tank cover, and vertically through 1½” PVC piping and check valve (to prevent reverse flow runback) to an elevation of about 8 feet above the basement floor. From this position, the pump discharge piping was run across the basement ceiling to the interior basement wall, and from there to the outdoors.

In early February 2014, the owner decided to upgrade the system with a backup pump, which would activate automatically upon the loss of AC power to his home. The owner hired a plumbing contractor to install the backup system. Beside the installation of the backup pump and the associated appurtenances, the contractor was required to integrate the new system with the existing pump and system. As reported, the modified system was later completed and tested with both pumps operating independently and jointly in a combined system arrangement.

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If An Oak Tree Falls, Will A Camera Record It?


Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist

 

 

The storm which hit our area on Wednesday July 21st, 2021, was a wild one with extremely gusty winds, torrential rainfall, and golf-ball sized hail leaving streets blocked by downed power lines, cars riddled with dents, and homes extensively damaged by wind and fallen trees. After a lengthy and circuitous commute, constantly having to find alternate routes due to road closures, I returned home to find my family’s yard covered with shredded leaves, torn from the trees in the adjacent woodland by the barrage of hail. A huge, towering oak in our front yard was no match for the wind that whipped and twisted everything in its path, splintering it at the base of the trunk, sending it crashing into the power lines and fence. Our utility pole snapped, and lines were down along our driveway. As I stood in awe of the destruction, I could still hear parts of the tree cracking and snapping as it continued to settle into the drenched ground under its immense weight. Luckily, the tree fell in a direction that spared damage to nearby homes.

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Mobile Forensic Analyst

CSAM


Timothy R. Primrose, Mobile Forensic Analyst

Apple is working to fight against child sexual abuse by scanning photos that are uploaded to iCloud for CSAM (child sexual abuse material). Apple is also trying to battle the child grooming chain by analyzing incoming and outgoing pictures in the Messages application for sexually explicit imagery. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft already have parameters set in place to monitor this form of illegal content on cloud-based platforms.

Apple will use an encrypted database of known CSAM images provided by different participating child safety organizations to scan these photos. An algorithm called NeuralHash will run each photo uploaded to iCloud from an Apple device through the CSAM database and will attempt to search for a match, even if the photo was altered, resized, or cropped.

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