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The Plaintiff, an Insurance Adjuster, was performing an inspection of the roof of an automobile dealership that had reported damage as a result of wind and rain from a recent Hurricane. The subject roof consisted of corrugated metal panels, and translucent fiberglass panels with a matching corrugated pattern. Additionally, the subject roof had been covered with a white polymer "paint" coating for purposes of energy reduction.

As part of the Plaintiff's determination of the building damage, the Plaintiff climbed an extension ladder to obtain access to the corrugated metal roof of the building. While traveling across the rooftop, the Plaintiff stepped on a fiberglass panel (skylight), and fell through to the ground below.

Plaintiff claimed that the presence of the corrugated fiberglass roof panels (skylights) were unknown, and hidden by the white polymer coating, and as such was unaware of the existence of the potential hazardous condition (fall hazard), prior to being invited to the subject property for purposes of a safety inspection. Defendant (building owner) contended that the existence of the fiberglass panels was open and obvious (visible during ground level inspection inside the building, and marked with painted lines on the rooftop created by the contractor that applied the polymer coating). Further, Defendant contended that Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff's employer, failed to perform a proper safety evaluation, as required by OSHA Regulations [1970 OSHA Act of 1970, Section 5(a)]. ***HTML Link - http://1.usa.gov/NynF6w*** [29 CFR 1910.132(d)] ***HTML Link - http://1.usa.gov/Nyo2hp***

WEXCO's Workplace and Construction Site Accidents Team served as the Engineering and Safety Expert, and was tasked to determine the following:

  • Determination of the applicable Building Codes (Southern Building Code), Safety Regulations (Federal OSHA), and Industry Standards
  • Performing Accident Reconstruction analysis regarding the mechanics of the Plaintiff's fall
  • Analysis of the Safety of the subject roof, including the corrugated fiberglass roof panels (skylights)

The above referenced incident occurred in Harlingen Texas, as was analyzed and inspected by our Texas office Engineering staff.

WEXCO has over 20 years experience successfully serving the legal industry. Our highly trained staff have investigated over 10,000 cases, delivered over 2,000 depositions and provided testimony in over 600 trials.

WEXCO has offices in California and Texas, but has been called upon to testify in cases throughout the country.

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Dr. Stephen C. Wexler: 40 years experience in construction, construction management, safety and related. Unusual combination of safety engineering and construction and civil engineering permits separate areas within construction, safety, and premises liability. 6 years Instructor at UCLA Evening Extension in Engineering & Construction Management, and 4 years US Navy Seabees Instructor for Construction Management - Port Hueneme, CA and Gulfport, Mississippi.

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