Expertly Speaking

Shopper Suffers Injury In Store

Sterling Anthony, M.B.A. ::::

Case Synopsis: A shopper in the sports department of a major retailer took from a shelf a step-aerobic platform, placed the platform on the floor, and then stepped on the platform to test it. The platform slid from under her and she fell and sustained a cranial injury. The ensuing litigation against the manufacturer alleged that the product was unreasonably dangerous due to the way it was packaged and due to a failure-to-warn.

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Were Lights Automatically Illuminated?

R. Scott King, BSME ::::

Case Synopsis: The operator of a small school bus made a left turn into the path of an oncoming early model Ford Explorer.  Afterward, the bus operator reported that dense fog prevented him from seeing the oncoming Ford before committing to the turn.  The driver also indicated that the Ford’s lights were not activated, and thus contributed to his inability to see the vehicle. 

At deposition, the Ford operator testified that his lights were illuminated even though photographs taken at the scene clearly showed the headlamp switch was off.  He also provided detailed testimony regarding the operation of his vehicle’s lighting system.  In particular, he testified that his vehicle was equipped with daytime running lamps (DRL) that illuminated automatically whenever the vehicle was in operation.  He also testified that his vehicle was equipped with a twilight sensing system that switched the headlights on and off regardless of the headlamp switch position and further, that certain aftermarket lights also illuminated automatically.

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Patron Injured on Amusement Ride

Leonard K. Lucenko, PhD ::::

Case Synopsis:  Patron was on a ride at an amusement park.  As she exited the ride, she slipped on the top metal step, fell down and struck the wooden railing on the platform and seriously injured her right shoulder.  An investigation was undertaken to determine whether the design of the entrance/exit to this amusement ride was dangerous and defective.

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Visual and Auditory Recognition of Forklift

Stanley D. Pulz, PE, CSP ::::

Case Synopsis:   Plaintiff worked as an operations technician on the 4:00am–12:30pm shift.  At approximately 9:00am, plaintiff took his break. As he walked off a short platform, he descended a two step stair system, past a stack of corrugated cardboard, (which was stacked upon roller conveyors to his left), and was struck by a five-ton electric forklift driven by his co-worker.

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Plaintiff Trips Exiting Elevator

J. Donald Kennedy, QEI, CET ::::

Case Synopsis: A resident of a high rise condo was descending on one of the elevators located in the building. When the elevator came to her designated landing, it decelerated normally and leveled into the floor where upon the doors opened to let her exit. While exiting, she claimed the elevator suddenly and without warning, fell downward causing her foot to momentarily get caught, which caused her to trip and fall forward hitting the floor and lobby wall.

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Did Tractor-Trailer Turn from the Proper Lane?

Steven M. Schorr, PE ::::

Case Synopsis: A tractor-trailer executed a right turn.  The tractor-trailer operator testified that he was in the right lane, and moved only a few feet into the left lane before he turned [to allow his trailer to make the turn].  As he executed the right turn, a car tried to pass him on the right and a collision occurred as the car and tractor entered the intersection.

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