Door Injuries and “The Eggshell Plaintiff”

Every good attorney needs to consider the validity of every potential claim. As discovery has often shown, people in poor physical or mental condition who are left unattended or unassisted while moving through garage door installers sonoma county are often the genesis of their own injuries. All commercial venues have the responsibility to maintain their facilities to industry wide standards, seek proper routine maintenance, and provide daily inspections of their door systems. However, it is difficult to provide safe passage to every patron of their facilities when some of those patrons may include persons requiring diligent physical supervision, special assistance walking, or have special needs due to disease, mental incapacity, or other unknown infirmities.

Many door cases are the result of malfunctioning door components. Other cases are created by the inappropriate usage of door operator products that simply do not provide the needed services. However, one other critical factor continually plays a significant part in many door injury accidents – The overall physical condition of the user of any door system.

When assessing a door claim, it is often a clear cut case of poor maintenance, lack of appropriate service work, or some other deferred condition. Other times, there have been extraneous conditions that should have been examined before a piece of door equipment was chosen for the installation. Many automatic door injuries occur because of a lack of daily inspections, or the absence of a thorough understanding of the potential harm that a high energy door system can cause. Low energy door systems have created severe injuries and death as well. When non-automatic manual or hydraulic door closers are installed they are often ignored and left to deteriorate. As discussed in some of my previously published articles, malfunctioning hydraulic manual door closers have been responsible for creating serious injuries including severe tearing of ligaments and muscles, head trauma, broken bones, and death

While most states observe the concept that the physical condition of an injured person prior to the subject lawsuit is not to be considered, it has been my experience that many door injury and wrongful death cases have involved an already debilitated person.

Some Plaintiff’s attorneys seeking to establish a claim do not consider or prefer to overlook the fact that the injured party may have had an existing condition prior to the accident. The potential plaintiff is sometimes brought to the property by an attendant or caregiver, and that physically or mentally debilitated person makes the decision to enter a door (automated or manual) without the assistance of an aid or any attending supervision. This article does not pertain to the ADA wheelchair population who have become accustomed to using ADA accessible doors. The focus of this article is on other common pedestrian traffic that includes senior citizens. In many cases, a person has been so frail and fragile that in outward appearance it seems that a mild wind could blow that person down. As often observed on video recordings that captured the incident; no physical contact was ever shown between the alleged defective door mechanism and the Plaintiff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *