Expertly Speaking

Fire Escape Collapses

Douglas W. Townsend, Ph.D., PE ::::

Case Synopsis:  Plaintiff stepped through a doorway onto a fire escape on the floor above a neighborhood bar and grill.  The fire escape railing opposite the door gave way and she fell into a concrete sidewalk and suffered paralyzing injuries.  Some time before the incident, a four-foot section had been sawn out of the fire escape railing to facilitate removing a pay-for-play pool table from the building.  Police photographs taken on the night of the incident showed pieces of rope tied to all four corners of the standing part of the fire escape where the section of the railing had fallen out.  These photographs were taken from too great a distance from the railing to show if there were any broken welds.  The bar owner and pool table owner asserted that the section of the railing had been welded back into place prior to the accident.  Following the accident, the sawn out section of the railing had been welded back into position before the railing was examined by experts.

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New Lifts to Accommodate all Size Vehicles

FSTC, The State-of-the-Art Forensic Storage and Technology Center, has recently updated the facility with new lifts to accommodate all size vehicles, as well as an updated bar coding system for storage documentation.  For more information, please contact John McShane at 215-322-1375

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DJS Associates is now on LinkedIn

Follow us as we provide current information on state-of-the-art-technology for accident reconstruction; industry news, case studies, as well as relevant articles and recalls:

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Motorcycle Safety Foundation BRC2 Instructor’s Course

Curtis M. Beloy, PE, Collision Reconstruction Engineer/Motorcycle Safety Specialist, has successfully passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation BRC2 Instructor’s Course, Philadelphia, PA July 2012. For additional information contact Curt Beloy at 215-659-2010.

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National Association of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) Board-Certified Engineer

Curtis M. Beloy, PE, Collision Reconstruction Engineer / Motorcycle Safety Specialist, has been admitted to the National Association of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) as a Board-Certified Engineer. Curt has also become a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. Please contact Curt Beloy at for additional information or to review your case needs.

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Extra Vigilance Necessary with 3-Meter Diving Boards

Dr. Tom Griffiths, Aquatics Expert with DJS Associates, is interviewed regarding catastrophic falls from diving board ladders:

Diving rarely enters the national spotlight, but with a focus on U.S. divers at the 2012 Summer Olympics beginning later this month in London, children may approach 3-meter springboards at local aquatic facilities with added curiosity. Consequently, pool operators must be extra vigilant. Relics from the ’60s and ’70s, the boards — typically accessed by 10-foot ladders and not always off-limits to recreational swimmers — need to be restricted for swimming and diving team use only, according to one aquatics safety expert who has studied springboard diving safety.

[Full Article]

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