Expertly Speaking

Garment Press Malfunction


Thomas J. Cocchiola, PE, CSP ::::

Case Synopsis: A worker at a drycleaning facility sustained severe burns when a garment press malfunctioned and unexpectedly closed on his hands.  An operator would typically place a pair of pants onto a stationary lower buck and activate a pushbutton to close the press.  The operator must continuously activate a pushbutton as the press closes; the press immediately opens if the operator releases the pushbutton.  After the press closes, the operator is able to activate a second pushbutton to lock it in position until a timer releases it.  The accident occurred when the press closed unexpectedly and trapped the operator’s hands while he was smoothing wrinkles in a pair of pants. 

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Infant Stroller Causes Skin Rash


Kenneth A. Brown, Ph.D. ::::

Case Synopsis: In early summer, a young mother purchased an infant stroller at a local store.  With the infant safely strapped in the new stroller, she walked for about an hour, stopping twice to comfort her baby who was crying and appeared uncomfortable.  When they arrived at the grandparent’s house, the mother checked the infant’s diaper to see if that was the cause of the crying and noticed red welts on the baby’s thigh and buttocks. The mother washed off the red areas; however, the condition worsened that night.  The next morning the mother took her infant to the emergency room and was informed that the infant had 2nd and 3rd degree chemical burns on her buttocks and thigh.  The mother checked the stroller and found a thick, green substance under the seating pad as well as on top of the seating pad.  Over the next several months, the infant required several skin graft operations and had long periods of painful recovery which resulted in permanent scars.

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Tractor-Trailer versus Pedestrian: Whose Story Makes Sense?


Steven M. Schorr, PE ::::

Case Synopsis: The plaintiff, a pedestrian, had parked his tractor-trailer in a truck stop and proceeded to walk to the facility to get some coffee. While traversing the parking lot, the plaintiff came in contact with the trailer portion of a moving tractor-trailer located in the parking lot. The plaintiff claimed that he saw the defendant’s tractor-trailer coming, changed his direction slightly, but continued walking toward the facility.  The plaintiff also stated that as the plaintiff was walking, the defendant, the tractor-trailer operator, executed a left-hand turn into a parking stall and the off-tracking trailer struck the plaintiff. The defendant testified that as his tractor-trailer was moving straight through the parking lot, he passed the plaintiff who was walking towards the facility. The defendant also testified that the location where he was turning into the parking stall was over hundred feet past where the plaintiff was standing, and that his tractor-trailer was not in the process of turning when he was passing the plaintiff.

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DJS Associates Announces New Software Technology for Optimizing Video Data


This software is useful in enhancing/optimizing video data.  Video evidence, whether from a cell phone or surveillance video, is invariably of poor quality, suffering from issues like low resolution, poor lighting, noise, and shake.  This software aims to correct, or at least minimize these issues. For additional information, contact Jon W. Adams at jwa@forensicDJS.com or by phone at 215-659-2010.

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Epileptic Triathlete Drowns in Indoor Pool


Dr. Tom Griffiths, ED.D ::::

A middle aged Tri-athlete drowned during training in a swimming pool with lifeguards on duty; he was also an Epileptic    Epileptics are approximately 20 times more likely to drown compared to swimmers without seizure disorders.  In fact, the Tri-athlete experienced a previous seizure in the same pool within the same year.  Although he was hospitalized, he was successfully rescued and resuscitated during his first pool seizure.  During his second seizure, he was not so lucky.  Although there were only a few swimmers in the pool that day, the lifeguards on duty missed the athlete, in part because he was performing dangerous underwater endurance drills.

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Inadequate Security at Parking Lot


William J. Birks, Jr., CPP ::::

Case Analysis: A woman drove her car into the parking lot of a US based retailer.  She secured a parking space, abutting a pedestrian walkway that ran perpendicular from the store’s entrance/exit, down the middle of the parking lot.  As she exited her car and turned right onto the walkway, the woman was unaware that she was being observed by two males that were “cruising” the lot in a stolen automobile. As she approached the end of the walkway, a car passed in front of her then made a right turn, against the traffic pattern. As the car slowed, a man seated in the passenger’s seat jumped out of the car as it rolled to a stop. The man quickly approached the woman from behind just as she arrived at the end of the walkway and lunged at the handbag she was carrying over her shoulder.  The force of the attack caused the woman to be pulled backwards onto the ground.  The man continued trying to pry the purse away but she would not relent.  As the fruitlessness of his endeavor quickly became apparent to the assailant, he retreated back to the car from which he came.  The car sped away, leaving the woman on the ground suffering from multiple injuries, requiring emergency medical attention.

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