Middlesex County, NJ Automatic Door Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuit:
This case involved an 85-year-old supermarket shopper who moved to the left side of the vestibule, purportedly to wait for her daughter-in-law who was parking the car when another patron's approach caused the automatic door to slide over the stationary panel against which the decedent was standing. The shopper was knocked to the floor by the door and the incident was captured on the defendant's video system.
The plaintiff contended that the supermarket should have placed a guard in front of, attached to the stationary panel to block access, or used an entirely different door. The plaintiff also maintained that the warning labels affixed to the stationary panel and the interior and exterior sides of the sliding door were inadequate.
The defendant maintained that full access to the area of the panel should be provided because it can readily be knocked down in case of emergency, such as fire, and permit occupants to quickly escape. It was undisputed the door did not violate any code, standard, nor local ordinance with respect to its design, or the location of the warning labels, and that the door functioned properly. The plaintiff also named the manufacturer on a design defect theory and this aspect settled prior to trial for an undisclosed sum.
The plaintiff contended decedent was in good general health at the time of the accident and that as a result of the injury sustained to her buttocks area from contact with the sliding door, she was hospitalized. It was asserted that the trauma precipitated a downward spiral culminating in a fatal heart attack one week later.The jury found for both the supermarket and settling manufacturer.
Michael Panish is the nation's leading expert witness and consultant for automatic door injury and wrongful death cases. All aspects of door hardware, door installations, and door usage are his specialty. Mr. Panish represents Plaintiff, Defendants, and Cross Defendants for all types of automatic door injury cases.
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