Erickson Structural was retained in the case of Rothenberger v Kent School District to structurally evaluate the wall of windows in the Kentridge High School cafeteria where the plaintiff was injured, allegedly due to defects in the window glass. Erickson Structural was asked to determine the in-situ structural strength of the glass in windows that was representative of the window glass involved in the plaintiff’s accident.
Erickson Structural developed and oversaw a testing protocol that recreated the manner in which the plaintiff testified he broke one of these windows. The window glass strength tests utilized a custom-fabricated steel frame that held a load cell with a prosthetic hand attached to it. The prosthetic hand was advanced towards and against selected windows, at the same location where the plaintiff testified his hand contacted the subject window glass, until the glass in the windows broke. The force and associated strain required to break each window was digitally documented.
Prior to commencement of the window glass strength testing at the school, Erickson Structural, utilized standard engineering principles to mathematically quantify the theoretical load capacity of the windows involved in the incident, then employed forensic testing to physically replicate the prior calculations. The results of the forensic window testing were in general agreement with Erickson Structural’s prior engineering calculations, lending further credibility to the forensic window testing procedure and results.
The results of Erickson Structural’s forensic investigation facilitated a settlement of this matter between the parties.