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Disability - Accessibility - ADA Expert Witnesses

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John P. S. Salmen, FAIA
President
8757 Georgia Ave., Ste 430
Silver Spring MD 20910
USA
phone: 301-270-2470
fax: 301-270-8199
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John P. S. Salmen, FAIA, is a licensed Architect who has specialized in Barrier Free, Accessible, and Universal Design for more than 35 years. He is president of Universal Designers & Consultants Inc., an accessibility consulting firm he founded in 1991 that specializes in the field of designing environments to be usable by people of all ages and abilities.

Mr. Salmen has been a voting member of the International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI) A117 Committee for more than 20 years and he serves on the Editorial and Scoping sub-committees for the A117.1 Standards for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities. The firm represented the American Institute of Architects on the ADAAG Review Federal Advisory Committee and Salmen was a voting delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. He has served for many years as an appointed member of the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities (MD).

Litigation Support - Mr. Salmen's direct involvement in the regulatory development of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) review process gives him unique insights into the intent of accessibility standards, in addition to his deep understanding of the letter of the law. This, coupled with his experience working with many different business models enables him to provide clients with the widest possible range of compliance recommendations. Mr. Salmen's opinions are consistent and presented in a clear, straightforward manner, allowing attorneys to quickly ascertain how to support their clients.

Expert Witness Services:
  • Defense and Plaintiff Testimony, as well as Consulting Services to both Private and Public Entities
  • Document Review
  • Representation at Meetings and Negotiations
  • Report Generation
  • Depositions
  • Courtroom Observations and Testimony
View John Salmen's Consulting Profile.
John Salmen, AIA, et al
An extensive resource for anyone involved in designing, building or operating buildings that must be accessible (including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act). Presents more than 650 products (from 400+ manufacturers) for use in creating accessible commercial, residential and recreational facilities. Product chapters include a discussion of how a product is used, a list of desirable features to assist buyers in selecting appropriate models, a generic illustration of the product and a roster of available manufactured products. The CSI number, a brief description, features and the manufacturer's name and address are provided for each individual product entry.
John Salmen, AIA
John Salmen, AIA
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Ned Einstein
President
15-17 S. William Street,Suite 3A
New York NY 10004
USA
phone: 212-766-1121 (NY) or 818-988-4586 (LA)
fax: 212-766-1122
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Areas of Expertise: Accident analysis, testimony and mediation in vehicle and pedestrian accidents involving transit, paratransit, schoolbus, motorcoach, special education, non-emergency medical transportation, taxi, shuttle, child transport systems and services; slips and falls; crossing, boarding and alighting; wheelchairs; seatbelts; ADA and accessibility; passenger safety, security and sexual abuse; vehicle design, specification, crashworthiness, quality assurance and product liability; industry standards and practices; driver training and vehicle operation; management, monitoring, supervision and enforcement; maintenance; NHTSA, FTA, FMCSA and USDOT regulations; vehicle testing and certification; contract negotiation and compliance; risk management; planning and system design.

The Firm: Transportation Alternatives is a passenger transportation and automotive consortium engaged in consulting and forensic accident investigation and analysis (more than 350 cases). Specializes in elderly, disabled, schoolchildren.

Education: MURP (Urban and Regional Planning): George Washington University, 1975 BA, English Literature: Rutgers University, 1969

Professional Experience:
  • President, Transportation Alternatives (1980 to present). Consulted to USDOT, transit agencies, private contractors, social service agencies, municipalities and school districts. Designed several major transportation systems
  • Chairman/General Manager, PTS Transportation (1982-1992). Directed operations of a 70-vehicle paratransit system for physically and developmentally disabled individuals and a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service
  • President, TAM-USA (1989-1995). Formed and directed a U.S.-Slovene joint venture company which coordinated the design, testing, certification and marketing of a European-manufactured school bus and motorcoach.

    Appointments and Memberships:
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • National Association of Pupil Transportation
  • United Motorcoach Association
  • American Bus Association
  • Community Transportation Association of America
  • Association Internationale pour la Sécurité du Transport des Jeunes
  • National School Transportation Conference (1995, 2000, 2005)
  • Committee on School Transportation Safety, National Academy of Sciences
  • Bus Industry Safety Committee (ABA)
  • Access Committee (APTA)
  • In Part 1 of this series, I introduced the notion that roughly half of all public transportation-related incidents are the result of a deliberate trade-off of passenger safety for some system or owner's benefit. The most common benefit is the service provider's operating a schedule that is too tight.

    This new National Bus Trader piece is the first installment of likely a year-long series about types of incidents that result from trade-offs of safety for other benefits -- adherence to unrealistically-tight schedules (or drivers running behind schedule) being the principal culprit. Frankly, of the more than 600 public transportation-related lawsuits in which I have served as an expert witness, roughly half of all incidents see to be the result of some deliberate safety compromise.

    The past eight installments of this series covered a lot of ground -- some technical, but mostly socio-economic and conceptual. But in the debate over the pros and cons of human versus robotic drivers, is it not possible to have the wisdom to take the best of both worlds? In early articles I acknowledged some of the advantages of Highly-Automated Vehicles (HAVs), including:

    What is interesting, and the focus of this installment, is the glaring disparity between the magnitude of information available about a vehicle or driver's performance and the general disinterest in examining it. This disparity is not a technological problem. It is largely an institutional and attitudinal problem. Or one might characterize it as a cultural problem. Or a values problem in a money-oriented society. Nevertheless, it raises an important point about driverless vehicles: While a vehicle's brain may contribute to and/or improve safety (fewer accidents and incidents) and performance (e.g., better mileage, less pollution), this brain's extraordinary analytical capabilities may be pointless because no non-robot is likely to ever examine the data.

    7/24/2017 · Transportation
    The previous six National Bus Trader articles on this subject stabbed at some highlights and low-lights within the extraordinary spectrum of socio-economic, institutional and other issues encompassed by our transition from humanoid-driven to robotic vehicles. At this point, I thought it might be helpful to take a quick glance at some of the hardware that serves as the robots' mechanical fixtures, apart from the electronics and the digitalia: Cameras and sensors. These components were employed in "transitional" or "steppingstone" efforts along the path to truly driverless vehicles. So I feel it is worth a look at how these technologies were used and abused at this earlier stage of HAV (highly-automated vehicle) development. Should the reader wish to view the math in the robots' brains, I recommend Multiple View Geometry in Computer Vision by Richard Hartley and Andrew Zisserman. The bible for artificial intelligence. Way over my head. If also over yours, no apologies necessary.

    When an asteroid strikes a planet, things tend to change quickly. Most other changes occur gradually, even while a small handful are occasionally more significant. These latter changes are sometimes referred to as "paradigm shifts," largely because they affect so many things around them, and cause such dramatic changes in the things they affect directly.

    6/22/2017 · Transportation
    Industry insiders, including government officials, cite an interesting analogy as a justification for their initial jump into the regulation of driverless vehicles that was first promulgated on September 20, 2016. The point made is that, had current regulations been in effect when the "Model T" hit the streets, we would have experienced far fewer collisions.

    5/23/2017 · Transportation
    As Part 2 of this series hopefully demonstrated there is much to learn about what lies ahead in the motorcoach world from the experiences of modes deploying smaller vehicles. This installment provides a preview of the likely emergence of "highly-automated vehicles," or HAVs, in the world of large vehicles: School bus, transit and motorcoach service.

    3/28/2017 · Transportation
    In a monthly magazine, it is almost impossible to keep up changes that are racing along This past September, 2015, small fleets of Volvos and Ford Fusions were released into the general traffic stream in Pittsburgh, and driverless Anheuser-Busch trucks began delivering Budweiser and Bud Light. The Netherlands and Finland have been deploying driverless motorcoaches for months now. And we already have a few similar services operating in the U.S.

    2/13/2017 · Transportation
    In Part 1 of this series, I identified the enormous range of benefits that would likely accompany even the first wave of autonomous buses, coaches, trucks and delivery vehicles. And I identified a handful of dysfunctional consequences, the most serious of which is a Tsunami of driver unemployment. Lest anyone doubt these inevitabilities, he or she might consider consulting the seven-installment series in National Bus Trader titled "Bad Regulations and Worse Responses" (June 2014 through January 2015).

    12/28/2016 · Transportation
    National Bus Trader has always been a leader in its selection and treatment of topics related to technology and innovation. So the decision to craft a lengthy article about NBT Editor Larry Plachno's experiences "behind-the-wheel" of a motorcoach-of-the-future at a "ZF Ride & Drive" event in Aachen, Germany (NBT, September, 2016) should not have been a surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that safety, liability and other issues related to this technology will be explored as well.

    8/19/2016 · Transportation
    The notion of "screening" driver-candidates for Sleep Apnea screening is not merely unsupportable, it is a delusion. In 2011, 517 truck drivers in Australia were tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnea ("Assessing Sleepiness and Sleep Disorder in Truck Drivers" in SLEEP, 2011). According to an anonymous self-evaluation questionnaire (a "multivariable apnea prediction index, based on self-report measures"), only 12% felt they had it, while roughly 4.4% had tested positive for it. Yet when all of them were tested, 41% more of them had this condition. The testing also found that a full 50% of the study participants were obese, and 49% of them smoked cigarettes. Neither of these parameters are included among the handful of criteria currently employed by either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's or Federal Railway Administration's "recommended" screening exercise -- although, In fairness, the size-17 male neck (or size 16 female neck) serves as a proxy for obesity. At the same time, as noted below, it also captures plenty of "false positives."

    6/29/2016 · Transportation
    Like most fields, public transportation is swollen with studies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Yet some of the most fascinating things seem to be never studied, or rarely studied.

    5/23/2016 · Transportation
    This final installment of this series provides the rewards for reading the first six: Starting-point ideas about things the motorcoach industry can do defend its density against intrusion from Transportation Network Companies (like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar), which have already begun plunging into the charter and tour sectors, mostly with medium-sized, body-on-chassis vehicles. It also includes things that would help increase profits and create new service opportunities - and compete with new, legitimate players penetrating the market.

    4/13/2016 · Transportation
    As NATIONAL BUS TRADER readers following this series have noted, our judicial system seems to be "running the table" with TNC-related issues. The $220,000,000 settlement of a case against FEDEX effectively eliminated the notion of an "independent contractor" in its six states. And the California courts are soon likely to boot out Uber. The FEDEX case in the U.S. Court's 10th Circuit effectively rippled a TNC's ability to deprive its drivers of a regular employee's costly array of fringe benefits. This settlement is likely to soon play out in the other nine "Circuit" encompassing the other 44 states. And if Uber is booted out of California altogether, on top of the FEDEX settlement, the TNC threat will be diminished significantly.

    3/11/2016 · Transportation
    Practically beginning my public transportation career as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Transportation, I learned to hate "Wash-Speak." Government agencies do not compound things; they exacerbate them. They use nothing, but utilize everything. They never start anything, yet implement everything. And much-ado-about nothing is usually referred to as a paradigm shift.

    2/25/2016 · Transportation
    Well, by now, the "Cat's Out of the Bag" about transportation network companies (TNCs). For this, we owe our thanks to National Bus Trader, Limo, Charter and Tours Magazine (especially) and the United Motorcoach Association. The August 15, 2015 issue of the UMA-sponsored Bus & Motorcoach News contained two articles about these previously-unfettered, robot-controlled beasts.

    2/3/2016 · Transportation
    These past five years, practically unnoticed until this last one, have witnessed the most radical change in public transportation since the introduction of scheduling software in the Early 90s: The invasion of traditional, analog services wallowing in their nostalgia by hyper- [or uber]-digital counterparts big on access, low on some concerns, and flying beneath virtually every City's and State's regulatory radar.

    1/6/2016 · Transportation
    Mitchell Rouse! In the 1980s, a strapping, 6'4"-inch-tall visionary who had inherited a 50-vehicle taxicab company and, within a few years, expanded it into a 350-vehicle leviathan, along with eight small paratransit operations. With a heavily-computerized operation a decade before Windows took over the World, his dispatch office still answered every call with a live Earthling. Wilmington/Checker Cab was all about decency, respect and efficiency. And at a time when most of Los Angeles County was beginning to deteriorate rapidly into lines, menus, incompetence and traffic. Yet, as a brilliant manager with an expanding corporate mentality, Rouse was also a rabid supporter of Unionism, and embraced his Teamster's affiliation with pride.

    12/15/2015 · Transportation
    Like every mode of public transportation, and for almost every aspect of our society, the motorcoach industry has, over the decades, been affected significantly by regulations. Some of these experiences were challenging yet produced dramatic results that, among other benefits, have saved us money. One terrific example is that modern motorcoaches dump perhaps one percent of the particulates into our environment than they did a mere two decades ago. Here, the regulations, though challenging, were at least realistic. But our industries' (and other bus modes') responses to it - effectively our engine manufacturers - were far more important than the regulations: Their responses were magnificent.

    11/18/2015 · Transportation
    The explosion of digital technology has triggered increases in vehicle costs, purged small and medium-sized companies from the transportation landscape, and contributed to a nationwide shortage of qualified drivers. But it has taken its greatest toll on management, where supervisors with a genuine understanding of transportation are gradually being replaced by armies of "templeteers."

    11/2/2015 · Transportation
    In the last installment of National Bus Trader, "Fatigue Monitoring Technology" presented an overview of the approaches and devices in development, and available, to prevent and detect driver fatigue. But unlike prevention technologies, fatigue detection devices raise a unique question: What happens when they work?!

    9/30/2015 · Transportation
    Little in public transportation is as challenging as driving load upon load of wheelchair occupants, with unique needs (and often unique chairs), in all directions, with last-minute one-of-a-kind trips dispatched into tight schedules created days, or even weeks, in advance. Yet this is precisely what paratransit drivers do - hour after hour, day after day.

    8/14/2015 · Transportation
    With panoramic/wraparound windshields lying against the front plane, sun visors, tinted windshields, crossover and parabolic mirror systems, ergonomic driver compartments with tilting/telescopic steering columns and pneumatically-adjustable seats, video surveillance cameras and motion detection sensors - much less corrective lenses, sunglasses, annual vision examinations, and continual improvements in headlamps - one would think that bus drivers could see and react to large objects appearing directly in front of their vehicles. But, as many jurors learn, one would be wrong.

    7/8/2015 · Transportation
    Comparing their relative safety to that of other vehicles, a number of motorcoach features come immediately to mind: Mass, monocoque construction pneumatic suspension, and fully-padded, forward-facing seats. Yet incidents like these still occur:

    6/12/2015 · Transportation
    No, this is not the name of a case. It refers to a dangerous conflict coursing through the bus and motorcoach industries - a conflict that we cannot afford to let exist.

    5/13/2015 · Transportation
    The previous article in this series emphasized the importance of transportation professionals selecting bus stops instead of students or their parents doing so. Regardless, while plenty of tools are available to help, the critical tool for evaluating and approving safe bus stops is a live Earthling.

    In the last installment (STN, Jun, 2007), I stressed the importance of distinguishing between an actual bus stop and the waiting area across the street from it in terms of safety. But the selection of the stop and waiting area also involves concerns for student security. Sometimes, there are trade-offs that must be made. These trade-off are often complex and subtle. But they must be made correctly.

    3/6/2015 · Transportation
    Except in rural areas with vast distances between intersections, a bus stop can reasonably be placed in one of three positions:

    1/26/2015 · Transportation
    In those rare instances where the safety of transportation modes can be compared statistically, bus riders fare several decimal points better than bicycle riders. The risks associated with motorcycles are "off the charts." The Figure below illustrates these comparisons for "home-to-school" trips - trips that comprise 15 percent of all transit trips and 96 percent of all schoolbus trips.

    12/17/2014 · Transportation
    Every responsible society has mechanisms to hold its citizens, and their organizations, accountable for their actions. With respect to safety, our society effects this goal through the enactment and enforcement of statutes and regulations, and through the process of civil litigation. As with most rules and most societies, many of our transportation organizations have discovered loopholes. Employing these loopholes, they have effectively reduced their liability exposure at the cost of compromising safety.

    11/11/2014 · Transportation
    Unlike those of many transit systems, schoolbus stops are not always identified with signage - at either the precise position of the stop or signage indicating that a schoolbus stop is approaching (the black glyph on yellow background). Rarely is the stop zone itself marked (for example, by red-lining the curb). In particular, the failure to mark the stop's precise positioning can be problematic - and occasionally dangerous.

    10/2/2014 · Transportation
    As pressure from the unknowing continues to mount, rumors have it that the U.S. motorcoach industry is slowly inching toward the installation of seatbelts. That we are doing so by skipping the decades of seat compartmentalization that has helped fend off most seatbelt advocates in the schoolbus industry is only more unfortunate since existing motorcoach seats lend themselves to a far more evolved form of compartmentalization than the "incomplete compartmentalization" (in NHTSA's own words) of their yellow body-on-chassis cousins.

    8/27/2014 · Transportation
    Question: What is the difference between a poorly-selected and -designed bus stop and a land mine? Answer: Very little. When you step on either of them, your ankles, knees and hips are likely to explode. The genuine difference is that the carnage from land mines is intentional, whereas that of poorly-selected and -designed bus stops usually reflects incompetence and, often, indifference.

    7/23/2014 · Transportation
    As it affects liability, an operating agency's status as a "common carrier" has an enormous impact not only on determining liability itself, but depending on legal constructs in various states, can also affect considerations like immunity and/or the assessment of punitive damages - often barriers to the assessment of damages afforded to public agencies. So except for motorcoaches deployed in commuter/express service under contract to public transit agencies, these latter considerations rarely affect motorcoach operations in the courtroom.

    6/13/2014 · Transportation
    In rural areas, children spaced far apart were once transported to school by horse and wagon. After the first day of school, the horses learned the routes and simply repeated them day after day, eliminating the need for drivers. The vehicles were cheap, and the engines ran effectively on oats. As our nation changed, pupil transportation's development reflected our increasing urbanization and, later, suburbanization. These developments included a new phenomenon known as traffic. As a safety matter, the need for pupil transportation grew to reflect a child's inability to cross streets or negotiate intersections, as verified by studies like the 1968 Swedish study "Children in Traffic." In simple terms, children below age 13, and particularly below age 10, do not possess the physical, mental and emotional skills necessary to cross streets and intersections.

    At the rudimentary level at which most crossing procedures are executed, schoolbus drivers are supposed to "direct" the students across the roadway when they are certain that either the traffic has been stopped in both directions or it is so distant (if even visible) that the students could easily complete their crossing before any oncoming vehicles reach the bus. The bus would obviously have its red flashers and stop arm engaged as a "fail safe."

    Drummed into my head as a schoolchild was the mantra, "Cross at the Green, Not In Between." This slogan still provides the basis for Today's thinking about following the pedestrian path to and from school or a student's bus stop. When last year, a study of 7,000 pedestrian accidents in New York City over a four-year period was released, its findings turned this century-old cliché on its head. The implications for the pupil transportation industry are dramatic, and should awaken all of us to a new reality that may save hundreds if not thousands of lives a year, since most vehicle-pedestrian accidents happen to students walking or cycling to school, as well most of those traveling by schoolbus who are struck when crossing by third-party vehicles.

    For those readers who remember Jayne Mansfield, or even know who she was, this is not a story about her Hollywood exploits or bedroom acrobatics. It is a story about a common type of accident - a rear-ender involving an automobile striking a truck or bus - often referred to, in accident reconstruction circles, as "the Jayne Mansfield syndrome."

    1/31/2014 · Transportation
    I have often written about the impacts of overly-tight schedules as the primary causative factor in incidents - in fact, the underlying cause of perhaps half of them. Because speeding is one of the "cures" to this problem, one of its characteristics is the failure to slow down when the roadway surface is not, as jazz musicians say, "melody." One of the most common scenarios is to cruise over speed bumps and speed humps. Another is to fail to slow over rugged terrain, particularly potholes and the often dysfunctional patches that sloppy road crews create to "repair" them.

    12/30/2013 · Transportation
    For decades, multiple sources cited the commonly-accepted statistic that only an estimated four percent of all individuals possessed a medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is largely the result of certain physical characteristics and lifestyle habits that reduce the flow of oxygen into one's lungs while asleep. These characteristics result in lowered blood oxygen levels throughout one's normal night's sleep, and lower the quality of that sleep such that the individual is fatigued through much of the day.

    11/7/2013 · Transportation
    Supply and Demand: When it comes down to it, the ultimate dynamics of survival in life on Earth. More poetically, 70's pop artist icon James Taylor crooned, "You provide the satisfy, and I'll provide the need." So here we go on another jaunt to expand the scenarios for motorcoach usage. However, along the road, we are actually inventing a brand new mode - not that no one has necessarily tried this particular one before.

    10/11/2013 · Transportation
    As with every installment in this series of articles, this particular model or vision is highly unusual, has only limited application, and requires considerable creativity and effort to bring to life, and still contains some constraints even if and when one can develop it beyond the womb of an idea.

    9/24/2013 · Transportation
    There are plenty of things obvious to almost any adult, motorist or pedestrian about large vehicles. The most obvious is their size and mass. But at the other end of the spectrum lie nuances rarely understood by anyone who has not driven a vehicle with a long wheelbase: The way such a vehicle turns, and the way its tires "track" compared to those of a typical automobile, van or pickup truck.

    8/21/2013 · Transportation
    As NBT readers of my past columns well know, my perspective on accidents and their causation is pretty skewed because I spend most of my professional time examining their details.

    8/6/2013 · Transportation
    One of the most fundamental concepts of liability is that the defendant "takes the victim as he finds him." Apart from hospitals and nursing homes, few areas of modern life confront, litigate and test this principle as often as public transportation.

    7/18/2013 · Transportation
    As we all know, public transportation is a fiercely competitive business, even in operating environments which are subsidized. But the failure to make tiny investments in safety can be costly in the courtroom.

    2/26/2013 · Transportation
    Alcohol and bus ridership present a curious enigma. As a matter of public policy, we allow intoxication. As a matter of free market dynamics, we encourage it. And rightfully so, we want to protect those intoxicated from hurting themselves and others.

    12/20/2012 · Transportation
    This title makes me think immediately of funerals. This is not what this installment is about, although problems in the office and on the road often translate into funerals for operating companies, not just their accident victims.

    10/24/2012 · Transportation
    As most motorcoach community members know, contracting plays a major role in much of our operations - including the 30% of motorcoach service provided to schoolchildren on field trips, as well as the commuter-express service provided under contract to transit agencies.

    8/22/2012 · Transportation
    One would think in the Age of Irreversible and Growing Unemployment, employers could phase out their "dead wood" and find some personnel capable of performing their functions competently. Regrettably, bus agencies and companies are generally not among those which do.

    One of the unfortunate problems with non-news-oriented magazines is the juxtaposition of their readers' limited long-term memories coupled with the publishers' reluctance to repeat themes (much less whole articles) that are not linked to stories that reflect continuing news or problems.

    Recently, I conducted a workshop on safety and liability for transportation directors. I asked innocently, "What do you do after training?" Several attendees shouted out, "More training!"

    Many of our fundamental and commonly-held beliefs are invalid because they were derived, often haphazardly, from a blur of intuition, superstition, history, tradition and circumstance rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Before the inventions of artificial light and mechanical clocks, being awake during daylight and asleep during darkness were survival necessities - lest one be devoured by predators or stumble into a pit.

    In my review of more than 80 public transportation-related accidents and law suits, one almost universal theme has been the absence of any log review. This failure has generally combined with another common theme: A vehicle running behind schedule. The relationship between these two themes is easy to both understand and demonstrate - as is the acknowledgement that they constitute a genuine safety problem. But in a courtroom, the fact that system management failed to notice the vehicle running late - and worse, failed to even look for it - translates into a liability problem as well.

    Since driving a 20- or 25-ton motorcoach is touted as so being difficult, it is only fair to ask why so much carnage, and so many law suits, occur apart from collisions. In particular, the number of incidents occurring at or near stops seems largely disproportionate to the perceived simplicity of handling things when the bus or coach is stationary

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    Dr. Joseph S. Schwartzberg
    1831 Goldenrod Lane
    Vista CA 92081
    USA
    phone: 760-705-0106
    Joseph-Schwartzberg-Special-Education-Expert-photo.jpg
    Dr. Joseph S. Schwartzberg, is an Educational Consultant / Expert Witness who provides consultation and testimony on cases involving students with disabilities.

    Dr. Schwartzberg was responsible for developing and administering legally compliant special education programs for the 14 districts of North San Diego County. For 13 years, he served as the Senior Director of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education for the San Diego County Office of Education. For the 7 years prior, he was the Division Director for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).

    Litigation Support - Dr. Schwartzberg provides expert witness services to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defense. He offers assistance with civil, family court, and due process (OAH) matters.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • IDEA
    • Inclusion
    • Mainstreaming
    • Standards of Care
    • Other Agency Responsibilities
    • Non-public Schools
    • Appropriate Programming for Students with Disabilities
    Certification / Credentials:
    • School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS)
    • School District Administrator (SDA)
    • Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential
    • Professional Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential : Health Science
    • Learning Disabilities, Emotionally Handicapped, General Special Education
    • Nursery, Kindergarten, Grades 1-6
    • Health and special classes of the orthopedically and similarly handicapped
    • Teacher of children with special learning handicaps
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    Robert T. Tolbert, PE
    140 Landings Lane
    Wilsonville AL 35186
    USA
    phone: (cell) 205-937-2747 or 205-670-5733
    Robert T. "Robby" Tolbert, PE is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 40 years of work experience in Mechanical, Industrial, and Construction industries. With a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Civil / Structural Engineering, Mr. Tolbert can handle a wide range of tasks. He currently holds two U.S. Patents, with two more pending.

    In overturning a lower court ruling (see Newton v Wright, 2003-2004), the Alabama State Supreme Court quoted Mr. Tolbert BY NAME in their ruling (See Link above). In 2010, the Alabama legislature amended the Workers’ Compensation laws of the state to reflect the Supreme Court ruling in which Mr. Tolbert was quoted, citing the Newton v Wright decision. His education, experience, professional engineering licenses, and accident reconstruction certifications have enabled Mr. Tolbert to overcome the Daubert challenges in the field of litigation. He has been retained as an Expert over 300 times.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Accident Reconstruction
    • Heavy Equipment
    • Railroad Accidents
    • Agricultural Equipment
    • ADA Violations
    • OSHA Issues
    • MSHA Issues
    • Building Codes
    • Machine Guarding
  • Product Liability
  • Hydraulics
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Elevators
  • Trip and Falls
  • Race Tracks
  • Racing
  • Industrial Accidents
  • Safety Engineering
  • View Consulting Profile.
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    Lonnie Haughton, MCP
    Master Code Professional
    318 Harrison Street, Suite 103
    Oakland CA 94607
    USA
    phone: 510-893-5501
    Lonnie-Haughton-Construction-Defect-Expert-Photo.jpg
    Lonnie Haughton, MCP is the Principal Codes / Construction Consultant at Richard Avelar & Associates, a forensic architectural consulting firm in Oakland, California. He is a CA-licensed General Contractor.

    Mr. Haughton is Certified by the International Code Council as a Master Code Professional. He is also a Building Inspector, Plans Examiner, and Building Code Official with strong expertise in the California Building Code and, its predecessor, the Uniform Building Code.

    Mr. Haughton has spent the past fifteen years compiling a hard-copy library of historic codes and a digital library of more than 30,000 reference documents including building envelope standards, evaluation reports, and related research materials, which he relies upon in his current managerial position – specially created to reflect his MCP certification and codes expertise.

    Litigation Support Lonnie Haughton provides expert services to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defense throughout the western United States. He has multiple peer-reviewed articles and papers published nationwide.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Building Codes - Historic and present
    • ADA and Accessibility - California Certified Access Specialist
    • Personal Injury - Code Evaluations (including: ‘negligence per se’)
    • Contractor’s Duty of Care - Compliance with plans, specifications and industry standards
    • Water Damage & Interior Humidity - Identifying actual causes and mechanisms
    • Dataloggers - Measurements of ambient moisture content
    • Sampling - Qualitative v. quantitative sampling of the building envelope
    View Lonnie Haughton's Consulting Profile.
    4/3/2015 · Construction
    Who likely should be blamed for the blackish mold growth found at this new three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in San Jose, California? Unfortunately, landlords often rush to accuse their tenants of generating too much "lifestyle moisture". In many cases, such assessments are both inaccurate and unfair.

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    Timothy P McCormick, PE, CBO, CASp,
    President
    21250 Hawthorne Blvd
    ste. 500
    Torrance CA 90503
    USA
    phone: 310-792-7044
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    Timothy McCormick ADA Accessibility Expert PhotoTimothy P. McCormick, PE, CBO, CASp, President career spans four decades related to the construction industry. He currently specializes in ADA Accessibility.

    Mr. McCormick is licensed in California as both a civil engineer and a general contractor. He holds certifications as a Building Official and Plans Examiner from the International Code Council and as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) from the California Division of the State Architect.

    Background - Mr. McCormick's work history includes duties as a carpenter, superintendent, general contractor, civil engineer, and building official before starting his own consulting company. His construction experience spans from the simplest of residential structures to the largest of current mixed-use, campus and institutional buildings. Along the way, he developed a strong practical approach to code compliance that creates innovative solutions to meet client needs and the intent of applicable regulations.

    Mr. McCormick has authored several portions of local building codes and regularly participates in the development of State of California building code amendments related to accessibility. His professional memberships include the International Code Council, California Building Officials and the Certified Accessibility Specialist Institute.

    Litigation Support - Mr. McCormick provides expert review of construction drawings and inspection of buildings for compliance with applicable codes, regulations, and practice standards. He has specialized knowledge in accessibility design and construction requirements mandated under the Federal Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and California Building Code.

    His expert knowledge and code development work make him a much sought expert for litigation, construction and training needs. His expertise is available to counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Review of Construction Drawings
    • Building and Land Use Codes
    • Code Compliance Building Inspection
    • ADA Accessibility Design Requirements
    View Timothy McCormick's Consulting Profile.
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    Dr. Steve C. Imber
    Ph.D.
    One Davol Square,Suite 111
    Providence RI 02903
    USA
    phone: 401-421-4004
    fax: 401-233-0946
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    Dr. Steve C. Imber is a Psychoeducational Consultant who serves as an evaluator and expert witness to attorneys in the areas of child custody, DUI, lead poisoning, educational competence, Miranda warning issues and special education.

    Dr. Imber also addresses the needs of Children, Adolescents and Adults concerning Attention Deficit Disorder, Learning and Behavioral Disabilities for Children and Adolescents, Learning Disabilities for Adults and Forensic Evaluation.

    A noted author and speaker, Dr. Imber has been a Presenter and/or Session Leader at several National Council for Exceptional Children's Conferences as well as several State and Regional Conferences, LRP Annual National Conference on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities.
    On March 22 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-0 opinion in the case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, ruling in favor of the parents of a student with autism spectrum disorder who had charged that the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA. The parents argued that their child did not receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) that was mandated by Congress.

    7/6/2011 · Psychology
    Prior to 1966, the Supreme Court sought to define the Constitution's protection against self-incrimination with regard to juveniles, to the mentally impaired, and to psychological coercion by police (see Gallegos v. Colorado, 1962; Blackburn v. Alabama, 1960; Fikes v. Alabama, 1957; Chambers v. Florida, 1940).

    5/18/2011 · Psychology
    A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at the public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency.

    4/11/2011 · Psychology
    An independent educational evaluation (IEE) provides parents with an opportunity to obtain alternative sources of information concerning the present levels of performance of their children.

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    Himad Beg, PE
    708 3rd Ave.
    6th Floor
    New York NY 10017
    USA
    phone: 212-796-4364
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    Himad Beg, BE, PE, has many years of experience in the dual fields of Forensic Engineering and Construction Management. In the realm of Forensic Engineering, Mr. Beg has performed accident site investigations and inspections and authored Engineering Reports on over 350 accident cases. As a Construction Manager, he has managed over $500 million dollars of critical infrastructure construction and rehabilitation for government agencies in New York and New Jersey. Key responsibilities have been to ensure Contractor Code Compliance, Quality Control and Site Safety.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Beg provides Forensic Engineering consulting and Expert Witness services to attorneys for plaintiff and defense, insurance companies, and the construction and safety industries. His services include accident site inspection, measurements, and engineering reports documenting investigation findings. Mr. Beg is available for Expert Witness testimony at depositions and trials.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Premises Liability
    • Slips, Trips and Falls
    • Elevators & Escalators
    • Scaffolds
    • Construction Accidents / Defects
    • Product Liability
  • Industrial Accidents
  • Traffic Crashes
  • OSHA Violations
  • Construction Management
  • Construction Claims & Dispute Resolution
  • MPT Plans & MUTCD Compliance
  • View Himad Beg's Consulting Profile.
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    Dawn M. Adams, PHR
    W307 N6380 Shore Acres Rd.
    Hartland WI 53029
    USA
    phone: 414-659-4553
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    Dawn M. Adams, PHR, is a certified Professional in Human Resources, with 25+ years of experience in Human Resources, employment law, and Organization Development. She built her expertise in the professional services, manufacturing, health care, financial services, government, and construction industries. Dawn has held various leadership positions within organizations, including Vice President of Human Resources for a statewide, nonprofit healthcare organization and national HR manager for an international law firm.

    Ms. Adams built additional coaching and development expertise through the Center for Creative Leadership and Team Trek. In addition to her PHR certification, she earned several certifications through Lominger International. Ms. Adams was a member of SHRM and its national Employee Relations Expertise Panel. She is a former member and chair of MMSHRM’s Employment Practices Committee.

    Litigation Support - Dawn Adams provides expert witness services to counsel representing Plaintiff and Defendant in cases involving human resources, employment law compliance, management practices, employee termination, and recruitment. Ms. Adams is experienced with sexual harassment and discrimination cases, FMLA, employment laws, leave laws, policies and procedures, and the American With Disabilities Act (ADA).

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Human Resources
    • FMLA / Leave Laws
    • ADA
    • Employer Responsibility
    • Employment Discrimination
    • Employment Investigations
  • Employment Termination
  • Background Investigations
  • Due Diligence
  • Employee Relations
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wrongful Termination
  • View Dawn Adams' Consulting Profile.
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    Christopher A. Lowery, DHSc, CLCP
    13831 Northwest Freeway, Suite 171
    Houston TX 77040
    USA
    phone: 713-996-9200
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    Christopher Lowery Vocational Rehabilitation Expert Photo

    Christopher A. Lowery is a qualified health and human service professional who serves as a Health and Rehabilitation Consultant. Having worked in the medical, vocational, and rehabilitation industry since 2002, he is committed to providing quality representation and assistance to meet the needs of every client.

    Background Experience - Dr. Lowery served as the Managing Director and Senior Healthcare Recruiter for Outsource Personnel in Houston, TX. Prior to that, he served as a personal injury legal assistant, document review paralegal, and medical claims analyst. This experience, coupled with his education in Human and Health Services Administration and Health Sciences make him particularly qualified to provide expert testimony.

    Litigation Support - Christopher Lowery provides expert witness services to Attorneys, litigants and the courts for Plaintiff and Defense cases. He is available to evaluate clients to assist with Employment Capability, Earnings Capacity, Rehabilitation, Consulting, Evaluations, Life Care Planning, Disability Claims, Assistive Technology, and Health Education as a result of a health impairment. Please see below or website for more expertise areas.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Life Care Planning
    • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
    • Social Security Income (SSI)
    • Personal Injury
    • Medical Malpractice / Medical Negligence
    • Counseling
  • Family Law / Domestic Relations
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Veteran’s Benefits
  • Labor and Employment Discrimination
  • Jones Act / Longshoreman Cases
  • Matrimonial / Divorce Matters
  • Health Education
  • View Christopher Lowery's Consulting Profile.
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    Jerry Birnbach
    Retail Expert Witness
    372 Heritage Hills
    Unit B
    Somers NY 10589
    USA
    phone: 917-691-4853
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    Highly Qualified Retail Accident Expert. Involved with many High Profile Retail Injury Cases

    Top 40 Retail Industry Leader ( DDI Magazine ) and Top 50 Retail Design Firm ( VMSD Magazine )

    2016 Slip, Trip, Fall & Safety Expert Witness of the Year - Corporate America Journal

    Expert for Retail accidents, slip and fall, display defects, construction issues, ADA and local codes.

    A 35 year veteran in the Retail Industry for all venues of Retail and Product Vendors, Product Showrooms, Display Design and manufacturing able to determine the cause and effect leading to accidents occurring inside and outside of stores.

    Other areas of expertise include Arena design, Furniture design, Office design, Product showroom design, licensing and branding agreements and product, display design, merchandising and product presentation.

    Review CV on website including two degrees in Architecture, Industry awards in Store and Display design, contributing editor of trade magazines, featured company at industry trade show "Store of the Future" area, high profile projects and clients.

    Extremely capable to cut to the chase, find relevant facts about the accident often not thought of by the attorney representing the Plaintiff or the Defendant. Over 30 cases handled in the last three years while maintaining the highly successful Retail Design Business.
    The Patriots won the Super Bowl because they had more Angels on the field which was my Expert observation. As an Expert Witness for Retail liability case, assisting Liability Attorney's across the country, I have trained my eye to observe. So what did I take away from the Super Bowl?

    6/24/2015 · Design
    I have been retained by a law firm as an expert witness in the field of Retail Design and Display. I was asked to review a furniture retail Store located in the above referenced address. It does need to be noted that I was not able to review the actual piece of furniture in question nor the camel statue that fell off of the chest and onto the plaintiff.

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    Erin O'Callaghan BS, MA, JD, CRC, NCC, LPC, CLCP
    145 S. Livernois #102
    Rochester Hills Michigan 48307
    USA
    phone: 248-312-9597
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    Erin O’Callaghan BS, MA, JD, CRC, NCC, LPC, CLCP, is a Life Care Planner, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, and Licensed Attorney with over 13 years of experience as a Rehabilitation Professional.

    Ms. O’Callaghan has consistently provided the highest standards of professional ethics while staying current with the needs of modern and complex litigation. Her experience and training gives a unique perspective as a forensic rehabilitation evaluator. She has an in depth understanding of the evidentiary requirements of an expert’s evaluation and conclusion, including the importance of following an accepted methodology in the process and preparation of an opinion.

    Ms. O’Callaghan is a member of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, International Academy of Life Care Planners, Michigan Rehabilitation Association, and the Michigan Bar Association. She is also a qualified Vocational Expert by the Social Security Administration.

    Erin O’Callaghan has been providing Litigation Support to counsel for Plaintiff and Defense for 11 years. She has provided over 1,000 cost projections and has testified in both Federal and State cases. Ms. O’Callaghan has specialized knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, Social Security issues, and Medicare Set Asides. Her services include case management, earning capacity evaluations, long term care evaluations, and personal injury assessments.

    Litigation Support Services for:
    • Tortious Injury / Negligence
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Worker's Compensation
    • Auto No Fault
    • Wrongful Death
    • Long Term Disability
    • Divorce
    View Erin O’Callaghan's Consulting Profile.
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    Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D.
    Principal Consultant
    49 Coryell Street
    Lambertville NJ 08530
    USA
    phone: 609-397-8989
    fax: 609-397-1999
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    Professional consultation for schools, attorneys and individuals. Court-qualified education administration, liability, school review and special education expert. More than 30 years experience in education. National practice.

    DOCTORATE: Rutgers University - Education Administration.

    MASTERS: College of NJ - Special Education.

    MASTERS: Franklin Pierce Law Center - Education Law.

    LAWYERS - Document review. Case analysis, development and litigation support. Expert reports. Deposition and trial testimony. School evaluations and comparisons for matrimonial issues.

    SCHOOLS - Liability and management assessments. Policy review and recommendations. Program review and development. Special seminars.
    Title IX, the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in public education programs, is also relevant in application of professional standards within the context of private school sexual abuse and harassment and their response to alleged incidents. Every school that accepts federal funding for any program or service it provides must adhere to Title IX. Most public schools, including charter schools and specialized education service commissions, accept federal assistance and, therefore, must comply with Title IX. Compliance requirements include, among other things, the development of policies prohibiting sexual harassment and assault, prompt and thorough investigation of complaints, training of staff, and the assignment of a person who oversees implementation of the law.

    7/26/2017 · Child Welfare
    Parents are responsible for the protection and care of their children, and there may be legal consequences if a parent negligently fails to take reasonable steps to protect his or her child from harm. As with parents, entities and agencies charged with the care and supervision of children are responsible for the protection of their health, safety, and well-being. A partial list of such entities or programs include daycare centers, preschools, summer camps, YMCA centers, K–12 private and public schools, private schools that provide residences for students, and residential centers for adjudicated youth. When a child is placed into the care and custody of such an organization, that entity assumes control and supervision over the child comparable to parental care - and is held to even a higher professional standard of care established within the field of education.

    Under Title IX, for a school to be held liable for denying an educational opportunity to a student who was sexually harassed or abused, the court must be convinced that the school had actual notice of prohibited behavior and that it acted deliberately indifferent to it. Often, it is a challenge to define what "actual notice" is and whether the school had such notice. If the school has no information on which to act to end harassment or abuse, it cannot be determined to be indifferent. In some of the cases we have worked on, however, there has been some level of notice that, if investigated, would have confirmed that harassment or abuse was taking place. Such notice could be a teacher hearing a rumor about a sexual relationship between another teacher and a student, a staff member watching a student speak in a sexually inappropriate way to another student, or the school receiving notice that that an off-campus sexual violence event is creating retaliation at school. Examples such as these may constitute actual notice, depending on the circumstances.

    Whenever children are involved in events on school premises, there is always the possibility of school district liability for incidents that happen on school grounds or at school-sponsored events. This foreseeability gives rise to a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent a child from being harmed. Public school districts may find themselves liable for injury - not only for those suffered by their own students, but also for those incurred by children who are invited onto school grounds, who attend separate programs on school grounds, and even those who are considered trespassers.

    Schools, including K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, have a responsibility to protect their students from harm. Harm includes the inability to benefit fully from education as a result of being in a hostile school environment. The politically motivated rhetoric and actions seen in schools during and after the presidential campaign can create a hostile school environment for which schools can be held responsible.

    Schools, after-school programs, summer camps, sunday schools, daycares and other agencies that supervise children are responsible for student safety of children in their care. Failing to apply the same attention to ensuring that non-licensed individuals, such as volunteers, meet the same standards as teachers and other paid staff can place students - and ultimately a school, district, or other agency - at risk. When the history of a volunteer or chaperone on an overnight school trip includes something that would raise a red flag but the school is unaware of it, school officials are not able to make an informed decision about whether or not that person should be allowed to interact with children.

    Protection of the health, safety, and well-being of children who participate in recreational activities at a summer camp, summer school program, or community and private recreation centers should be the standard operating procedure of all those who provide these services. The standard of care owed to children who participate in organized or sponsored recreational activities such as sports, dance, swimming, rock climbing and variety of other activities at a camp or other agency must be consistent with professional standards in the field. Ingraining standardized practices and responsible planning and supervision into the work habits of all employees will help to protect the employees and the agency from activity injury liability and costly litigation.

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program, including in colleges and universities, if those programs or activities associated with the institution receive federal funding. Under Title IX, sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual battery, sexual assault, rape and other sexual violence at school, college or university campuses. Any behavior that disrupts a student's access to an educational opportunity or benefit constitutes a violation of Title IX. Recent media coverage has brought to light the controversy over the six-month sentence for a former Stanford University student for the rape of a student on campus. There has been outrage over the sentence, and that outrage might be justified, given schools' responsibilities in similar cases.

    Some of our most vulnerable children are relegated to a life away from parents, family, and their school to live where other adults take the place of their parents and are responsible for their custody or care - legally defined as in loco parentis. This occurs when children are placed in residential centers for the treatment of mental illness, schools for the deaf and blind, or similar facilities for children who require extensive medical care and management.

    Nationwide, 7.6 million students participate in interscholastic athletics, according to U.S. News and World Report. Keeping them safe is critically important to avoid school liability and sports injury lawsuits. And when sports injury occurs, schools may be found responsible if they failed to take reasonable precautions and supervision of students in order to prevent sports injury. Parents send their children to school with the implicit expectation that schools will do whatever is necessary to keep them safe whether in the classroom or on the football field.

    As difficult as it might be to accept and understand, abuse of children is occurring at an alarming rate in our nation's schools, daycare centers, camps, and other institutions. Even with state laws that require child abuse reporting and institutional policies that address sexual abuse prevention, identification, and reporting, abuse is not going away. More civil lawsuits are filed with each passing year, and schools and other organizations are not always appropriately responding to this epidemic.

    In the wake of recent incidences of gun violence, school safety and security has become an increasingly pressing concern in the United States and Canada. Schools, summer camps, daycare centers, and other agencies charged with the safety of children have a duty to protect them, and their ability to do so depends on solid policies, training, and appropriate response to security threats. Laws, regulations, and internal policies designed to shield children from harm may be developed proactively in response to a risk assessment or reactively in response to an event that caused injury to a child. Both are valid options in today's climate of terroristic threats to school safety and security. Inaction is not. Schools and other child-centered programs must consider and develop appropriate responses to this new dynamic.

    Risk of personal injury to children is reduced when activities, facilities, equipment, personnel, and supervision are brought into compliance with "standards." There are several sources of standards. Some standards are mandated by law through statutes. Additional standards are set forth by oversight authorities, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Camping Association, the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations, or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, to name a few. Other standards involve the customary professional practice of those conducting such activities. Ignorance of such standards is no excuse for failing to comply and schools and agencies with children have a duty to be proactive about implementing standards in order to prevent student injury.

    Many school-aged children have medical conditions about which teachers, nurses, and others who are responsible for their health, safety, and well-being should know. If not addressed in the right way by administrators, teachers, or other officials, these conditions can result in a catastrophic incident, not to mention costly litigation. A student with a known heart defect, for instance, is vulnerable in a physical education class if the teacher is not informed of the child's condition and does not institute appropriate precautions or prepared to respond in a medical emergency. If cafeteria personnel in a daycare center know that a child has a peanut allergy but fail to supervise the child appropriately, the child can go into shock if she is allowed to sit at a table where another student is eating peanut butter. In situations like these, if a plan for the child's care was either not in place or developed but not communicated to the staff, the child might suffer irreparable harm - or even die.

    In my profession as an education administration and student supervision expert, I have observed that residential schools and boarding schools present a higher duty than day schools to supervise children and a greater opportunity for the school to be found liable for child abuse and injury. When children are living and learning in a program 24/7, staff must demonstrate not only a professional standard of care, but also a reasonable and prudent parent standard of care. Although related, these standards are distinct and must be appropriately and reasonably applied in a setting where staff serves as surrogate parents and others serve as teachers, counselors, and psychologists. When a child is sexually assaulted, administered unnecessary corporal punishment, or is injured or dies in a residential school, both of these standards need to be addressed.

    The first responsibility of educators and those who supervise children in residential programs, day care centers, before- and after-school programs, and other settings is to make sure that these programs foster learning and care in a safe environment. Asking third graders to move a cart with a heavy TV on top, inadequate staff instruction in safe techniques to quell disruptive students, not carefully checking that the door to the pool closes and locks the way it is supposed to, excessive discipline, playground aides talking among themselves but failing to pay attention to the children, not providing a sufficient number of nighttime supervisors in a dormitory, and a school police officer not trained on how to interact with children with behavioral disorders - any of these circumstances can lead to student injury at school or death of a child and high litigation costs. The overriding professional standard of care is to protect children's health, safety, and well-being. Under this umbrella fall the development and implementation of policies, adequate staff training, and a level of supervision reasonably calculated to keep children safe.

    7/7/2015 · Child Welfare
    In settings where children are supervised by adults, we often think about traditional settings, such as schools and summer camps. But these are not the only places where children participate in activities that require adult supervision and which can result in child injury cases. Some nontraditional settings include resort and vacation day care programs, community recreation centers, church-sponsored events, and Boy and Girl Scout activities, among others.

    For schools, summer camps, and day care centers, one of the key functions of student supervision is to identify dangerous conditions and then either stop the activity or warn of the danger. The supervisor must take appropriate action for the protection of the children. Duty to warn contemplates both having knowledge of danger (actual or constructive notice) and having time to communicate it. Field trip injuries are very common and there is an equal duty to protect when children are off campus but still under school supervision, such as when children are on a school-sponsored trip. Excursions off school property present special challenges. Careful planning ahead of the trip, knowing about potential safety hazards, and creating a plan to avoid or mitigate them can help to protect a child from field trip injuries and a school from liability lawsuits.

    Keeping children safe in schools, preschool and daycare programs, summer camps, on playgrounds, and other locations is a primary responsibility of those who administer such programs. When a child becomes injured and the claim is negligent supervision, a school or other agency will have a greater chance of prevailing when it has clear policies and enforces them. In school premises liability lawsuits plaintiffs are more likely to prevail when a facility fails to maintain its campus and equipment, does not have a regular inspection plan, and does not instruct and supervise students in the safe and appropriate use of equipment.

    Employment decisions in public and private schools should be based on qualifications, performance, merit, and seniority, rather than race, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability. Teachers and other school personnel can sue for employment discrimination if they are wrongfully dismissed or demoted, if they were prevented from initially obtaining a job, or not appropriately accommodated for a disability or medical condition. Most employment discrimination violates either state or federal law, and legal protections are found in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, two primary federal statutes prohibit disability discrimination in employment: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

    2/6/2015 · Child Welfare
    When child abuse is alleged to have taken place in a school, daycare facility, preschool program, summer camp, or other entity responsible for the supervision and safety of children, there is always the possibility that the entity may be liable if negligence can be established. Schools and other entities with a duty to protect children often become embroiled in lawsuits alleging that breach of this duty was a proximate cause of a child's injuries. Though laws vary, states adopt a broad definition of child abuse, including physical and emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment, incest, sexual molestation, and sexual exploitation. Typically, a child abuse report must be made to a designated state agency responsible for child protective services when a person, in his or her official capacity, suspects or has reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected, or knows that a child has been subjected to conditions that could reasonably be expected to result in harm.

    School coaches have a duty to protect athletes from harm, including emotional or physical harm that may result from locker room hazing. High school hazing in athletics has many beginnings - the most prominent being an attitude of superiority among senior athletes and the belief that a weaker or younger athlete must be subjected to harassment to "make the grade" or to be "good enough" to be on the team. This mentality, if left unchecked and if students are allowed to participate in hazing behaviors, eventually can result in even more serious misconduct, such as sexual harassment and serious personal injury.

    When a student personal injury in a public school triggers litigation, plaintiff and defendant attorneys must address the concept of governmental immunity. In general, governmental immunity shields public schools from tort litigation and liability. Governmental immunity is not universally applicable, however, depending on how the facts of a specific case accord with state or provincial laws. This article is about how governmental immunity in public school cases might be pierced and how schools can determine whether governmental immunity applies in school liability cases.

    Millions of children participate in programs operated by daycare centers, nursery schools, and camps across the United States and Canada. The most important aspect of childcare is the safety and supervision of children. When a teacher, recreation leader, camp counselor, or other supervisor is engaged in activities involving young children, there is a duty to protect the child from physical harm, sexual abuse, and other forms of personal injury. A breach of duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of a child that leads to injury may result in daycare negligence lawsuits.

    In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to college and university administrators about implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in regards to campus sexual assault cases. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities in schools that receive federal funding. The letter explains that schools are required to develop and distribute policies regarding sexual harassment, designate a Title IX coordinator to oversee the school's duties, train staff and students in sexual harassment and violence issues, and establish an investigation procedure and an adjudication process. The letter did not articulate specific procedural safeguards, rules for the examination of evidence, or guidelines for the conduct of adjudication or hearing processes for cases of campus sexual violence.

    Harassment in schools can occur when a student is discriminated against on the basis of national origin, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or other identifiable class. A school district may be found liable for harassment if there is no strong, widely disseminated, and consistently enforced policy prohibiting it and no effective complaint procedure is in place. Schools can also be held responsible for the consequences stemming from a failure to take immediate, appropriate steps to respond to a complaint about harassment or bullying, terminate it, and discipline the offending party, be it an employee or another student. When a school has knowledge that a hostile environment exists but does not act on this knowledge, it can be viewed as giving tacit approval to this activity. In such cases, school districts have been found liable for enabling hostile school environment that prevents students from learning.

    The relationship between private schools and their students is very different than the one that exists when a student is in a public school. In private schools, the relationship is contractual in nature. The contract is expressed or implied in written documents, such as promotional literature, student applications, and student and staff handbooks. By contrast, the relationship between public schools and students is governed by federal and state statues, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Title IX. In public schools, students are afforded constitutional, substantive, and procedural protections that are generally not applicable in a private school. In private schools, academic and conduct issues involving students raise contractual, as opposed to constitutional, issues.

    Injuries are a part of intramural and extramural sports and recreation programs. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, high school athletes account for 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. There's a certain level of risk assumed by a child who participates in any physical activity, but the school or agency has a general duty to protect children from harm to avoid school sports injury lawsuits. Dereliction of that duty may result in any number of situations that a jury may consider negligent, such as failure to develop and implement appropriate policies and procedures for supervision, poor maintenance of equipment, or inadequate instruction of children about the dangers inherent in their activity.

    Student injury or death often brings negative attention to a school. In fact, the first thing often reported publicly is an injured party's claim that an incident stemmed from the negligence or misconduct of a staff member responsible for a child's safety - a teacher, coach, or bus driver, for instance. But a student injury or death can result from any number of situations. These might range from school-related action or inaction, such as a breach of school security or failure to follow a student's medical orders, to a student's own actions and choices triggering a contributory negligence defense.

    For schools, daycare centers, after-school programs, and camps, children with disabilities often present significant supervisory challenges. If these children's needs are not adequately addressed and a child is seriously injured or killed, negligent supervision may be viewed as a proximate cause. But what constitutes reasonable supervision of children with behavioral or physical disabilities? It depends on the unique needs of the student and a school's standards for protecting that student from harm.

    This article reviews recent legislation and how that legislation effects compliance with student IEPs in regards to the equipment that can improve a student's ability to learn and interact with teachers, family, and friends. The article details the recommendation of devices and the school's responsibility in regards to their procurement, usage, and maintenance.

    Recently, a Seattle student with cerebral palsy was awarded $300,000 in damages from her school after years of harassment by another student was allowed to take place. Her harasser regularly called her names, blocked her wheelchair's path with furniture and manipulated her chair's electronic controls so it rammed into walls. It was not until the harasser caused his target serious physical injury and property damage that school officials responded formatively to his hostility by suspending him for three days.

    Abstract: This special paper introduces the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, describes the school district's obligation to advocate for students with disabilities, reviews student rights created by the law, defines key terms, and takes the reader, step by step, through the procedural protections provided by the regulations.

    Abstract: Examples of consultations serve as an illustration of how a consulting education expert can assist lawyers who are working on school and education related cases. One example deals with a special education dispute involving inclusion and the other deals with liability for student injury and a settlement of $850,000.

    The tragic realities of the school killings in Littleton, Colorado, and similar instances of violence involving today's youth, have educators, policymakers and communities searching for causes as well as methods of prevention. Hit lists, posted on Internet sites and plans made by high school students to "get even" when they are teased are symptoms of what we already know: Bullying, teasing and discrimination are big problems for American children.

    Our nation's schools pay millions of dollars annually in damages to school children injured in class, sexually assaulted by teachers, and harassed by fellow students. Unnecessary risks in schools can be controlled to protect the safety of students, faculty and support staffs and to eliminate costly litigation and settlements.

    Even the most amicable custody arrangements can sour over school choice. As more people move about, the issue of where their children will attend school, and what that school offers compared to their current situation, is becoming more significant in family law. This article examines ways an education expert can assist with objective evaluations of school programs.

    The educator as a consulting and testifying expert has become one of the most important tools that an lawyer can use in the dispute resolution process involving schools. When the consultant becomes an expert witness the relationship changes. This article explains how the expert educator assesses merits of a case, and provides consultation to lawyers who are working on education and school related cases.

    6/19/2013 · Expert Witnessing
    According to a new national survey, there has been a sharp drop in the percentage of America's children being physically bullied or beaten up by their peers.

    5/13/2013 · Expert Witnessing
    Assigning fault and responsibility in a lawsuit involving a school is rarely clear cut.

    3/25/2013 · Expert Witnessing
    Eyewitnesses to the event may only tell what they saw, heard, felt or smelled; they are not allowed to tell what others have said (hearsay) or say what they think of the case.

    The first wave of inclusion has crashed upon the shores of our schools. Now, educators and parents are looking toward the horizon awaiting the next wave to see what it brings.

    Now that the administrative law judge ordered Heather into the regular fourth-grade classroom, none of the teachers want to have her, Maybe we shouldn't have filed for a due process hearing against the school. I think it backfired on us.

    Schools seem to have little control over the financial and human resources that are dedicated to special education. How can accountability be achieved?

    This article explores common situations regarding sexual harassment in the school setting. It also discusses exploitation of sexual power either by teachers or by students in an inappropriate relationship. Schools and its employees have a duty to train their students on their sexual harassment policies and to report any inappropriate behavior.

    5/14/2012 · Social Issues
    Cyberbullying is one of the fastest-growing problems facing families and the people responsible for protecting our children: school administrators, lawmakers and law enforcement officials. Cyberbullying is such a new frontier, the laws that define and police it are, in many places, weak to nonexistent. Its "sudden" pervasiveness and severity is now shocking people into action as evidenced by the rash of suicides making national news and the resulting public outcry.

    The safety of children is of the utmost concern to school board members, administrators, and teachers. Accidents do happen, of course, but you must do everything you can to make sure that the students in your care are not hurt.

    People who are passionate about school safety have a vision--a vision we share with concerned parents, educators, and especially with the kids we're obliged to protect.

    All 15-year-old Phoebe Prince wanted was to be liked. But after moving from Ireland to Massachusetts, it wasn't long before Phoebe endured bullying from the "mean girls" at school.

    It is commonly accepted that school liability has increased over the past several years, especially in the area of tort liability.

    Edward F. Dragan EdD
    Bullying used to be thought of as an unpleasant rite of passage, but now psychologists are realizing that it inflicts real harm. As many as 40 percent of children report that they’ve experienced episodes of bullying at school or online through their school community. School safety expert Edward Dragan argues that parents need to be proactive in looking out for their children’s social well being at school. From his many decades as a Board of Education insider, he argues that schools are self-protective entities and reluctant to address bullying themselves.
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    James Rappoport, AIA, NCARB
    Vice President, Principal
    2121 Market Street
    Philadelphia PA 19103
    USA
    phone: 215-636-9900 ext.325
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    James Rappoport, AIA, NCARB is Principal and Architect of Record at Daroff Design Inc. + DDI Architects PC, a full service Planning, Architectural & Interior Design practice founded in 1973 and specializing in ground-up, renovation and historic adaptive reuse projects for office facilities, hotels, resorts, restaurants, meeting, conference and training facilities, aviation terminals and entertainment projects throughout the USA and Internationally.

    Mr. Rappoport has successfully provided technical consultation, expert witness opinions, affidavits, certificates of merit, depositions, mediation presentations, testimony and trial support in more than 190 legal cases, engaged by both defendants' and plaintiffs' legal teams.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Architecture
    • Architectural Codes / Design & Standards
    • Architectural Design
    • Architectural Practice
    • ADA - Accessibility Compliance
    • ADA - Accessibility Design
    • Building Codes & Ordinances
    • Construction & Architecture
    • Construction Claims
    • Construction Disputes
    • Facility Programming
    • Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment Specifications
    • Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment Failures
  • Hotel & Resort Design & Planning
  • Interior Design & Planning
  • Office Building Design & Planning
  • Owner – Architect Agreements
  • Owner – Contractor Agreements
  • Professional Liability (Architecture & Design)
  • Project Planning
  • Slip – Fall Accident (Causes)
  • Site Assessment & Development
  • Site Planning & Design
  • Standard of Care (Architecture & Design)
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Development & Planning
  • View James Rappoport's Consulting Profile.
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    David Erik Chase, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA
    403 S. Sapodilla Ave., #604
    West Palm Beach FL 33401
    USA
    phone: 609-577-0304
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    David Chase Architecture Expert Photo
    FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE: Plaintiff and Defendant ™

    David Erik Chase, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, is an Architect with over 50 years of experience, personally responsible for more than $1 billion of constructed projects, as designer, interior designer, specifier, project manager, Architect-of-record, or Principal-in-charge.

    Litigation Support - Based on this foundation of technical and practical experience, Mr. Chase has served as an expert witness, testifying in depositions and at trial on over 75 cases, for forensic construction assignments for plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of matters. His cases have included insurance issues, standard of care, schedule delay, construction defects, contract disputes, copyright, water intrusion, mold, errors and omissions together with a specialty in Florida 718 Statutes for condominiums.

    Currently practicing Architecture in Florida, Mr. Chase is licensed in 21 states. He has extensive experience in educational, stadium, criminal justice, housing (senior, assisted living, public, multi-family and single detached), health care, commercial, hospitality and retail projects. Mr. Chase has negotiated, authored and administrated design-bid-build, design-build, construction manager-at-risk, fast-track, fixed price, bridging, sole source and private/government contracts.

    Mr. Chase serves as an Expert Witness to highlight issues of fact, to bring clarity to due diligence on both sides of the table, and to advance resolution. As a Mediator and neutral third party, he has expertly guided parties in dispute through an informal, non-adversarial process toward a mutually agreeable resolution without prescribing what that solution should be. Mr. Chase has also served as an Arbitrator on a dozen cases to guide opposing parties through a formal, rule-based process that establishes a binding resolution and reasoned awards.

    Areas of Expertise:
  • Architectural Standard of Care
  • Architectural Contracts
  • Building Codes, Standards
  • Construction Defects
  • Building Envelope Systems
  • Design – Build Delivery
  • Water Intrusion Matters
  • Errors and Omissions Claims
  • Stucco and EFIS Systems
  • Betterment Issues
  • Florida 718 Condominium Statutes
  • Wrongful Death Events
  • Fast Track Processes
  • 1990 A D A Guidelines
  • Architectural Copyright Infringement
  • Change Order Analyses
  • Breach of Contract
  • Government Contracts
  • 3/8/2017
    "AIA Florida recently announced its recipients of the 2016 AIA Florida Citizen Architect Award, and named David E. Chase of West Palm Beach, Florida as one of six Florida architects to be honored."
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