Broken Outdoor Furniture Causes Serious Injuries

    Property Management Expert WitnessThis case involves a man who suffered a serious head injury when a swinging chair he had been sitting on failed catastrophically. The Plaintiff was a resident of the Defendant apartment home where the furniture was located. On the date of the incident in question, he visited an outdoor patio area on the apartment complex’s property and sat in a swinging chair held by a chain and attached to an overhead beam. The swing, chain, supporting structure and all attachments had been manufactured, installed, and maintained by Defendants. While Plaintiff was sitting in the swing, the attachment holding the chain to the overhead beam gave way suddenly without warning. The Plaintiff fell backward and his head slammed into the concrete of the patio, at which point he was knocked unconscious. The Plaintiff underwent extensive medical treatment, and suffered a concussion that has caused permanent cognitive disabilities.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please discuss your background in property maintenance and inspection as it relates to apartment building complexes.
    • 2. What could have been done to avoid the accident?

    Expert Witness Response E-008234

    I have been involved in over 100 cases involving losses or incidents at apartment complexes where management, maintenance and inspection of the property elements were potential causative factors. Determination of steps that could have been taken to avoid the accident would first require evaluation of the involved equipment to determine the failure cause(s). Once the cause(s) have been determined then steps taken or potential omissions by other parties that may have factored into those causes can be identified & evaluated against applicable laws, codes, standards or the standard of care. I have been involved in evaluating and testifying in past cases involving component failures of chain supported swings. In those cases the design, installation and maintenance of the swing assembly were all potential factors considered in determining the root cause(s) and responsibility(s) for the failure. I have been qualified in court to act as an expert engineering witness on failures of equipment and components, including support chains and related hardware. I also am familiar with and have been qualified to testify as an expert regarding codes and standards applicable to management entities regarding maintenance of equipment in apartment complexes to prevent or minimize the potential of injury accidents.

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