Alleged Defective Storm Door Latch Leads to Severe Finger Injury

This case study explores a severe finger injury caused by a storm door latch, questioning whether the design adhered to industry standards or if any defects contributed to the accident.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 14, 2024

Glass storm door

Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident involving an individual who suffered a severe finger injury. The accident occurred when their ring caught on the latch of their storm door during a fall, resulting in the finger being ripped off.

Allegations have been made that the pushbutton latches on the storm door were defectively designed. The crux of this case lies in determining whether the design and use of the latch adhered to industry standards or if any design defects existed that could have contributed to the accident.

Questions to the Engineering expert and their responses


Could you provide some insight into your professional background, particularly regarding inspecting, engineering, or designing exterior storm doors with push button latches, or similar products?

I bring 20 years of experience in the field of engineering to this case. Over these two decades, I've had the opportunity to design numerous manufactured products and install various types of door handles and storm doors.

While my expertise isn't specifically centered around storm door latches, my extensive knowledge base allows me to effectively analyze a wide range of product designs.


What kind of information would be necessary for you to review in order to determine if the door was defectively designed?

To make an informed determination about whether the door was defectively designed, I would need to conduct thorough research into industry standards for storm door latches.

Although there isn't a specific design protocol for this situation that I'm currently aware of, it's crucial to perform an analysis of the latch itself and understand the forces involved in removing or degloving the finger. An accident reconstruction could also prove invaluable in illustrating how exactly the door latch played a role in causing the injury.


Have you ever reviewed a case similar to this one? If so, could you elaborate?

Yes, I have reviewed premises liability cases that pertain to doors and their actions. Each case presents its own unique set of challenges and requires a careful examination of all the factors involved.

About the expert

This expert boasts over two decades of experience in the engineering field, with a focus on civil and structural engineering. They hold professional engineering licenses in multiple states and are an active member of several prestigious engineering societies. Their career has spanned various roles, including structural engineer, partner at an engineering group, owner of an inspection services company, adjunct lecturer at a renowned university, and currently a partner at a forensic engineering firm.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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