Walkway Defect or Human Error?

Robert J. Nobilini, Ph.D., Biomechanical Engineer ::::
Case Synopsis: Plaintiff was a middle-aged male, who incurred a rupture of his patella tendon while playing basketball. He claimed that his injury was due to him stepping into a patched area on the court surface that he contended was depressed by about 2 to 3 inches. It was requested that a biomechanical analysis be performed to determine if there was a causal relationship between the alleged court defect and the plaintiff’s injury.
Expert Analysis: The patella tendon is part of the extensor mechanism of the knee. It is loaded every time the knee is extended. Biomechanical studies have quantified the load on the patella tendon as a multiple of body weight for various activities. Activities such as ascending stairs, running, kicking a soccer ball, and landing from a jump exert a force of 3.2 to 11 times body weight on the patella tendon, while the failure load of a healthy patella tendon is about 17.5 times body weight. Continue reading “Walkway Defect or Human Error?”