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Mike Panish Door \U0026 Gate Expert Witness Video | Automatic Door Expert Witness All Answers

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Mike Panish is the most retained door and gate expert witness in the country.
He is the nation’s leading expert that both plaintiff \u0026 defense attorneys throughout the U.S. and Canada call for any type of door or gate case.
Mike travels all over the country to inspect and evaluate personal injury \u0026 defect claims for doors, gates, locks \u0026 other hardware. He is up to date with all requirements and industry standards and he knows how these products should perform.
Whether you represent the plaintiff, defendant or a co-defendant, Mike Panish is the specialty expert you need to help you make sense of any door or gate related issue. His assessment is unbiased, and he’ll give you the facts you need to help support your case. There is no other single expert in this field that comes close to Mike Panish’s knowledge, expertise, and testimony experience for door or gate cases.
Call his office now, run your case by him, and let him help you.
(888) 902-4272 (Ask for Sharon)

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Doors Expert Witnesses :: JurisPro

Construction & Architecture Expert Witness Listings. Please locate the door expert witness you are searching for by clicking on the below listed links. The …

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Automatic Door Expert Witness – ForensisGroup

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Automatic Door Expert Witness | Quality Case Testifying

Are you in need of an expert on manual and automatic doors for a legal case? If so, consultant and expert witness Don King can help. King is an automatic door …

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Automatic door expert witness. – Davis Associates, Inc.

Automatic Door Expert Witness · The “triple design flaw” exhibited by certain automatic sling door sensor systems, · The effects of poor IR (infrared) …

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Doors: Automatic & Garage Expert Witnesses: 2 –

Find Expert Witnesses in Doors: Automatic & Garage. … Construction, Door, Gate Expert Witness & Consultant. PO Box 725. Woodland Hills, CA 91365

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Michael Panish, Expert Witness





Mike Panish is the nation’s leading and most active expert witness and consultant for automatic door personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. He is regularly retained and designated by plaintiff, defense, cross defense, door manufacturers, and door installers on all types of automatic door injury, product liability, and premises liability cases. Mike Panish is the most comprehensive and thorough automatic door expert witness in the country.




Many door manufacturers who have become cross defendants have realized that Mike Panish’s knowledge and unbiased evaluation makes him an expert that can be relied upon to give an accurate depiction of the case. At varying points in a case, he has been retained by more than one involved party. He has participated nationally as retained expert on cases where alleged malfunction of Besam Entrance Solutions, Stanley Access Technologies, Horton Automatics, Assa Abloy, Dorma, Tormax, Boon Edam, Door-o-matic and many other automatic door systems have led to injury or wrongful death.

Mike is frequently called upon to evaluate and comment on AAADM (American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards pertaining to automatic door systems.


Mike has a thorough working knowledge of automatic doors, door sensors, and all door components manufactured by companies such as Stanley Access Technologies, Besam Entrance Solutions, Horton Automatics, Chamberlain Liftmaster, B.E.A., Optex Technologies, Ditec, and other door manufacturers.

As a working door and hardware contractor, Mike has provided service for and installed thousands of doors. This brings a unique and applied understanding to every door injury case. Mike does not just base his opinion on theories or speculation, as other experts often do. His opinions are derived from actual hands-on working knowledge of automatic door systems, sensors, and door components. Mike Panish has been a door and hardware contractor for over 40 years. He has personally installed, maintained and serviced doors and hardware components.

Mike Panish is an expert for all Automatic Door Types including but not limited to:

Automatic Pedestrian Doors

Drop Down Doors, Roll Up Doors, Industrial Doors, Garage doors

Revolving Doors

Sliding Doors

Swinging Doors

Low Energy Doors

Bi pass & Folding Doors

Fire Doors

Gates & Fences for Autos

Parking Arms & Barriers

Barrier Gates


Mike has authored and published many articles pertaining to automatic doors, manual doors, and door hardware. Many of his articles are becoming known as the industry standard for automatic doors and door hardware. His testimony in many cases has set standards and been included in cited references for case law.

Having been retained by hundreds of legal professionals, door manufacturers, and door service providers throughout the nation, he is considered to be the ultimate source of information on automatic door operations, regulations, and door safety standards.

List of Published Articles by Mike Panish relating to Automatic Doors


Mike Panish has testified nationally for federal and state automatic door injury and wrongful death cases, and been retained by Plaintiff, Defendant, and Cross Defendants.


Mike has been designated and appeared in spoliation of evidence hearings across the country where his inspections have led to proof of tampering with evidence and deceitful replacement of defective hardware that created significant settlements and sanctions. Mike is frequently called in to analyze claims for insurance companies defending door related defect and injury claims. He has been hired by major chain stores and their defense counsel to investigate their door claim issues. All aspects of door hardware, door installations, and door usage are his specialty.


If you represent the Plaintiff, Defendant, or Cross Defendant in an automatic door injury case, you need Mike Panish.

Make the call NOW and find out why you need Mike Panish, Automatic Door Expert

A brief phone conversation with Mike about your case will convince you that he is the expert you should hire to provide you with the experience and support you need to get the best results for your case. You will learn more about your door case during that initial call to Mike than you would learn from any other door expert.

Mike Panish is available for Nationwide Inspection & Testimony.

CALL NOW to discuss your case!

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Please locate the door expert witness you are searching for by clicking on the below listed links. The professionals found through this page may advise regarding overhead doors, door jambs, and revolving doors. They may provide reports on door installation and product installation assessment. Consultants found here may also provide expert witness testimony regarding sliding glass doors, wardrobe doors, barn doors, French doors, sliding doors, and swing doors, among other similar products.

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I am knowledgeable of high-end residential construction, including remodeling, with experience in structural, electrical, plumbing, roofing, interior finishes and exterior envelopes. I have previously founded and run multi-million dollar, award-winning…

Mike Panish is a legal expert witness and consultant specializing in most construction trades (defects & injuries), automatic door systems, doors, door hardware, door sensors, gates, cabinetry, architectural millwork, and woodwork. Mr. Panish is the nation’s…

ForensisGroup, Inc. (The Expert of Experts) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: For over 30 years, ForensisGroup has provided the nation’s top law firms, businesses, insurance companies, government entities with highly qualified expert witnesses and consultants. Experts referred by…

James D. Madden. P.E. (Madden Accident Analysis & Forensic Engineering) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: During over 30 years of forensic work Senior Forensic Engineer James D. Madden, P.E. has: – completed over 1100 cases – prepared and issued over 700 written reports – prepared and issued over 70…

Sinisa Kolar, P.E. (The Falcon Group) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Mr. Sinisa Kolar is the Vice President / Department Head of Engineering and Restoration, based out of the Miami, FL office. He has more than a decade of both international and domestic experience in all…

Ronald K. Tyson (Tyson Enterprises, Inc.) Location: Michigan Areas of Expertise: BUILDING & PREMISES EXPERT, Review and research to render opinions on correct building codes and life-safety standards concerning construction, ADA & OSHA issues. Opinions on causation & foreseeability,…

Martin M Balaban, PhD, PE (AR TECH Forensic Experts, Inc) Location: California Areas of Expertise: PhD Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, MS Mechanics from Illinois Institute of Technology, BS Civil Engineering from Cooper Union. Licensed Professional Engineer (Safety) State of California. Accident…

Peter Vail (Joelson Vail Associates, LLC) Location: California Areas of Expertise: Mr. Vail is a California Licensed General Contractor, Concrete Contractor,Carpentry Contractor, Certified ICBO Building Inspector, Certified ACI Concrete Field Testing Tech Grade 1,has an extensive background…

Marlin E Buckley (Marlin E. Buckley, P.C.) Location: Pennsylvania Areas of Expertise: Marlin E. Buckley, P.C., provides technical expert assistance to contractors, owners, attorneys, architects and other construction professionals, from the initial stage of the project, to the completion…

Andrew R. Yarmus, P.E., F.NSPE (Yarmus Engineering, P.C.) Location: New York Areas of Expertise: Yarmus Engineering, P.C. has been providing Engineering services throughout the tri-state area since 1974. Andrew R. Yarmus, P.E., F.NSPE, President of the firm, has worked in various engineering and…

Technology Associates, LLC (Kristopher J Seluga, M.S., P.E. (CT & NY) ) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Kristopher J Seluga, M.S., P.E. (CT & NY) Our staff of experienced engineers are ready to apply established scientific and engineering knowledge and techniques to your case. Our staff has published…

Paul A. Joelson, AIA, CASp (Joelson Vail Associates LLC) Location: California Areas of Expertise: Mr. Joelson is a licensed architect, DSA certified access specialist (CASP), general contractor and certified building inspector. He consults on the building codes interpretations, architectural and construction…

Kurt Jensen, AIA (The Falcon Group) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Mr. Kurt Jensen AIA is a Registered Architect and provides construction observation services on project sites ranging from roofing projects, façade re-cladding, waterproofing and transition reports for…

Accident & Safety Consultants Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: ($180ph review NY, NJ, MD, PA, DE, VA, DC, WV) • Accident Reconstruction: Car, Bus, Truck, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motorcycle, Rollovers • Biomechanics,Occupant Injury • Safety Standards, Falls • Building…

William G Switalski, P.E. (Switalski Engineering Inc.) Location: Illinois Areas of Expertise: I have consulted in matters involving industrial and consumer products, industrial work practices, and premises liability since 1980. I’ve been retained on several hundred occasions by both Defense and…

James M. Miller, PE, PhD (J. M. Miller Engineering, Inc.) Location: Michigan Areas of Expertise: Warnings & Instructions – Workplace Safety – Vehicle Accidents – Consumer Product Safety – Chemical Safety – Premises/Pool/Water Other Experts: Mark Lehto, PhD; David Clark, PE, PhD; Adam Olshove, PE,…

Kenneth D. Martin (Garage Door Experts) Location: Nevada Areas of Expertise: Garage Door Experts offers expert assistance in the field of garage doors and automatic gates. Our experts have over 40 years of experience in garage door and gate manufacturing, product design, product…

Mark E. Williams, AIA, NCARB (Robson Forensic, Inc.) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: MARK E. WILLIAMS, AIA, NCARB Premises Safety, Construction Claims, & Architect Professional Liability Mr. Williams brings over 30 years of practical experience preparing construction documents and…

Gregory H. Pestine, P.E. (Robson Forensic, Inc.) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Gregory H. Pestine, PE Construction, Construction Safety, Quality Control / Assurance, and Civil Engineering Expert Greg has nearly 30 years of experience in various roles in many types of construction…

Keystone Engineering Consultants, Inc. Location: Pennsylvania Areas of Expertise: Keystone Engineering Consultants, Inc. is a multi-discipline, broad-spectrum firm providing comprehensive and qualified forensic engineering, architecture, scientific, biomechanics, and fire/arson investigation…

John G Minor (Complete General Contractors) Location: Florida Areas of Expertise: Complete General Contractors specializes in Commercial Restortation and provides Expert Witness and Consulting Services for attorneys, engineers, architects, building owners and insurance companies. We…

R. Kevin Smith, P.E. (R. K. Smith Engineering Inc.) Location: Illinois and Indiana Areas of Expertise: R. Kevin Smith, P.E., D.F.E. is President of R. K. Smith Engineering Inc. since 1997, a mechanical engineering safety and design consulting firm. Kevin has consulted on over a thousand matters nationwide…

Julian M. Toneatto, Ph.D., PE, PP(NJ) (Adler Engineers, Inc.) Location: Pennsylvania Areas of Expertise: Highly experienced, articulate Professional Engineer (PE) in several states and Prof. Planner (PP)NJ. Engineering expert with 43 years experience in Engineering and Environmental Consulting. Doctorate…

Thomas J Lodge, AIA, NCARB (Robson Forensic, Inc.) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Thomas Lodge is a versatile and accomplished registered Architect with 30 years of broad professional experience in design, construction detailing, and construction administration for a multitude of project…

Douglas W. Peden, R.A., NCARB (Robson Forensic, Inc.) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: DOUGLAS W. PEDEN, R.A., NCARB Premises Safety, Construction Claims & Architect Professional Liability Mr. Peden brings over 30 years professional experience preparing design and construction documents…

Scott Wilton, P.E. (The Falcon Group) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Mr. Wilton is a Senior Engineer for the Firm, specializing in the evaluation and design of building and site improvements for residential and commercial properties; and owner representation with respect…

Joelson Vail Associates LLC Location: California Areas of Expertise: JOELSON VAIL ASSOCIATES is a forensic architectural, construction consulting, and construction management firm located in San Diego, California. The focus of the firm’s practice over the last fifteen…

Steven J. Lang, R.A., AIA, NCARB (The Falcon Group) Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Mr. Lang is a Regional Vice President, Building Envelope Division and an Architect involved with the firm’s architecture and engineering projects. Mr. Lang is responsible for overseeing Townhome and Condominium…

Mark Monteith, AIA, LEED AP (Robson Forensic) Location: Pennsylvania Areas of Expertise: Mark Monteith, AIA, LEED AP Architecture, Construction & Premises Safety Expert Mark Monteith is a Philadelphia based Architect with 25 years of professional experience in the design, construction,…

Consolidated Consultants Location: Multiple Locations Areas of Expertise: Consolidated Consultants (CCc) continues to deliver high quality expert witness and medical expert witness referrals nationwide since 1995. CCc is the only referral service where you can view the full,…

R. Hooper, PhD, PE: Automatic Door Expert

Automatic doors have sensors, controllers, motors and drive mechanisms. They are the one of the most common robotic system people encounter. An IEEE paper I authored discusses automatic doors and their safety systems in the context of “collaborative robotics.” Collaborative robotics describes applications where robotic systems and humans interact and share the same space.

If you are reading this page, you may be looking for an automatic door expert witness to help you with a case involving an automatic door accident. I have been a testifying expert in dozens of cases across the country. I also have a PhD in engineering, am a Registered Professional Engineer, and my peer-reviewed publications appear in books, journals and conference proceedings. Please contact me to discuss your case and continue reading for a brief overview of the ANSI automatic door standard, example engineering analyses of automatic doors, and some history of automatic door control systems.

The ANSI/BHMA A156.10 American National Standard applies to power operated pedestrian doors. The standard was first published in 1984 and there have been five updates since, with the most recent being in 2017. The standard calls out many parameters including the maximum forces and speeds for moving doors. It also calls out safety and activation zones for automatic doors. The activation zone refers to the area generally in front of the door where an approaching person will cause the door to open. The safety, or “presence,” zone refers to the area in, and immediately adjacent to, the door’s path where the presence of a stationary person will cause the door to stay open.

When there is an injury involving an automatic door, there is often video evidence recorded from the scene. This video, when combined with physical measurements taken during an inspection, allows us to superimpose the activation and safety zones onto the scene of the accident. Then we can follow the people and the door as they move within the scene.

The figures below show activation and safety zones superimposed on video from a camera pointed towards an automatic door during the brief time period immediately before a collision. The zones are outlined in red, yellow and blue. The subject person is approaching the automatic door from the inside of the building towards the outside.

Activation and safety zones superimposed on floor Subject proceeds towards automatic door The changes in the scene from frame to frame can be analyzed to determine directions, speeds, accelerations and changes in momentum. For example, the gap in the figure below shows the automatic door is closing even though the subject has stepped into the minimum activating zone, directly towards the sensor mounted above the door. The door should not have been closing under these circumstances.

Subject steps into minimum activation zone Gap shows the automatic door has started closing

In addition to engineering factors such as kinematics and dynamics; there are operational and maintenance procedures for automatic doors. For example, all automatic door systems I am aware of specify a daily safety check. This check is called-out in the owner’s manual for the door. A business with an automatic door should read and follow the owner’s manual(s) for their door(s).

Automatic doors can be dangerous. They have motors, gears and drive mechanisms that can generate substantial forces. The moving door itself has momentum that will contribute energy to an impact. Furthermore, a door that moves unexpectedly into a person’s path and then stops can cause an accident involving considerable forces, even though the door is not moving at the time of the impact.

Door accidents can happen after a person walks through a “blind spot” in the door’s sensor system. Some door systems have sensors with known blind spots at the outer edges of the doorway. These systems rely on traffic control to prevent people from walking through the blind spots. The owner’s manual for the door should explain whether traffic control is required. The first case where I served as an automatic door expert witness was in 2010 in Corpus Christi, Texas when a person was badly injured after a fall caused by a closing automatic door. The technical details of this case focused on the condition and maintenance of the door, and particularly the presence sensor designed to hold the door open so that it would not close on the pedestrian. I testified in front of a jury for the Plaintiff in this case, which resulted in a Plaintiff’s verdict for $6.4 million . In another pedestrian door case where I served as an expert witness, it seemed the performance of the door changed from one inspection to another, even though the door maintenance company had not been on site and the settings of the door had not been changed during either inspection. Eventually we discovered a general maintenance person at the hotel was adjusting the door because he didn’t like it to stay open too long when it was hot outside. Only someone with the proper training should be adjusting automatic doors that are used by pedestrians . Early automatic door systems employed control mats on the floor to control the doors. The control mats were connected to electrical relays that opened the doors when there was weight on the mat and closed the doors when there was no weight on the mat. Two general downsides to this design were that the control mats would wear out from the foot traffic and the mats themselves could become a tripping hazard. Later, automatic door systems added computing elements for control and replaced the mats with non-contact sensors, typically mounted above the doors, to detect approaching people. The non-contact sensors eliminated the mechanical problems with the control mats, but introduced other problems, such as sensor blind spots .

For example, one of the sensor types that found wide deployment was a motion sensor based on the Doppler frequency shift. This type of motion sensor identifies the approach of people towards the doors. The computing element then commands the doors to open for the people to move through the doorway. Unfortunately, there were injuries when some people moved so slowly through the doorway that they effectively became invisible to the motion sensing. This danger is exacerbated when the person is directly under the sensor because there will be little or no component of that person’s velocity towards or away from the motion sensor.

To address this issue, the designers of automatic door systems added an infrared presence sensor intended to identify the presence, rather than the motion, of people that could get into the path of the moving door. By adding the second sensing element, the system designers were attempting to eliminate blind spots or weak areas in the sensor coverage pattern. This is important because when people get into the blind spots, the door’s safety systems are not able to protect them and injuries can occur. Other causes of accidents can include improper set-up of the doors, component failures and failure to control the entrance and exit areas of the doors.

Automatic Door Expert Witness

Automatic Hospital Door Injures Handicapped Man This case involves a handicapped man that was injured by a newly installed automatic door at a hospital. The door in question was in the hospital lobby. One of the lobby desk staff members came over to assist the man… Read More -> Read More

Rolling Door Installer is Seriously Injured by Oversized Springs This case involves a self storage facility employee in Nebraska who was injured while installing a large rolling door on one of the facility’s storage units. Unbeknownst to the employee, the coil and springs provided by the manufacturer were the… Read More -> Read More

Repair Worker is Crushed by Elevator This case takes place in Florida and involves a repair worker who died from an elevator shaft accident while performing maintenance duties for the elevators of a large office building. The man, along with a handful of other individuals, was… Read More -> Read More

Woman Injured by Roller Door This case involves a woman who suffered injuries while working at a warehouse facility located in Idaho. The loading docks were all outfitted with commercial roller doors. At the time of the accident the plaintiff was unloading various items on… Read More -> Read More

Man’s Fingers Crushed in Department Store Elevator This machine automation case involves a thirty-five-year-old man who was shopping at a large department store. Upon entering an elevator, the plaintiff saw an elderly couple slowly approaching the elevator. As the elevator doors were closing, the man put his hand… Read More -> Read More

Automatic Door Expert Witness

Expert Witness for Cases Involving Door Accidents Are you in need of an expert on manual and automatic doors for a legal case? If so, consultant and expert witness Don King can help. King is an automatic door expert available for consulting and testifying in cases related to all types of automatic, manual pedestrian, and vehicular doors. He is able to provide his services in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Why Choose Don King as Your Door Expert? The answer is simple: experience. Don King has over 30 years of experience related to manual and automatic door design, installation and repair. He is able to provide expert analysis of doors for both plaintiff and defense cases related to personal injury, safety issues, accidental death, and premises liability. As you already know, a case verdict or settlement can often depend on the testimony of an expert. Because you don’t want to take risks, hire the automatic door expert that brings over three decades of experience to the table. For more information, call Don right now at 863-559-1533. What Type of Services can Don King Provide?

Don King can serve as a litigation support specialist, or testify as an expert witness. He can provide services as a forensic consultant, assist with equipment lab testing and analysis, or offer research and development info. Don King’s specialties include, but are not limited to: Automatic, Storefront, Swinging & Sliding door systems, including electro-mechanical, electro hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Microwave and Infrared activate & presence detector systems old and new.

Pivot, hinges & swing assemblies.

Closers, Hydraulic type overhead & floor concealed or surface applied.

Hollow metal doors including fire doors and related hardware swinging or sliding.

Laminated Wood fire doors and related hardware swinging or sliding.

Access controls,Low voltage systems

Overhead Sectional & rolling steel doors including fire doors, torsion and extension springs, cables, rollers, jack shaft operators, trolley mount operators and safety edge systems and photo beams.

Patio Doors Sliding or swinging,including collapsible wall systems & pocket doors.

ANSI compliance (American National Standards Institute)

ADA Compliance (Americans with Disabilities Act)

AAADM Inspector training – re-take course for updates – AAADM (4/2010)

AAADM Certified Inspector – automatic pedestrian doors. AAADM (10/1997)

Licensed Arizona Contractors #213-086 Doors & Hardware Share this page |

Automatic door expert witness.

Fee Schedule and Retainer Agreement Download a copy of Dr. Davis’ Fee Schedule/Retainer Agreement (two pages) in Adobe PDF format for viewing and printing using Adobe Acrobat Reader. The executed Retainer Agreement can be mailed or FAXed to Davis Associates, Inc. (Address and FAX number are located at the bottom of this page). Curriculum Vitae Download a copy of Dr. Davis’ Curriculum Vitae (four pages) in Adobe PDF format for viewing and printing using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Compilation of automatic pedestrian door cases Download a compilation (566 Kb, 140 pages, revision of June 4, 2022) of the automatic pedestrian door cases Dr. Davis has handled to date, in Adobe PDF format for viewing and printing using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Free Initial Consult If you have, or are considering, an automatic pedestrian door case and have a question or would just like to discuss your case, please call us at 617-244-1450 or fill in and submit your question using the following form. Please note that most fields are optional, unless you request a response by mail or FAX. Name: Company: Mail Stop: P.O. Box: Street-1: Street-2: City: State/Prov: ZIP: Country:

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Please enter your inquiry here.

Doors: Automatic & Garage Expert Witnesses, Page 1

Mike Panish is the most retained and the leading expert witness for Automatic Door injuries / Wrongful Death and Door Defects and Injuries . Security issues relating to daycare & healthcare centers. Construction defects, product liability, poor workmanship relating to contractor vs homeowner disputes and contractor fraud.

Mike Panish is an expert witness & consultant for most construction trades, specializing in automatic door systems and door sensors, door, door hardware, cabinetry, and architectural millwork. Extensive experience working for plaintiff & defense (Federal & State). Highly credible & solid testimony. Licensed in CA as a General Building Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Door, Lock & Security Equipment Contractor, Cabinet & Millwork Contractor, and Painting & Finish Specialties Contractor. Over 35 years hands-on experience in all construction trades with over 1600 cases since the year 2000. Local to CA & New England. Nationwide Inspection & Testimony.

As a construction expert witness, I am often asked about the importance of using safety equipment. I have many years of personal experiences with the proper observance of safety procedures and appropriate safety equipment requirements.

I have been the retained expert witness by both the plaintiff and defendant to determine the causes of a variety of significant injuries that have happened as a result of improper cabinet and millwork installation practices. In most claims, if product abuse or deferred condition was not the reason for the injury, poor installation practices that have omitted required hardware was to blame. Architectural millwork injuries have occurred repeatedly in shopping centers and malls, hotels, hospitals, airports, and offices throughout the country. Casinos and restaurants are also routinely the location of significant cabinetry related failures leading to serious injuries. Many offices and industrial buildings that utilize modular furniture have had employees injured by improper or completely unattached components. In my other articles, improperly attached architectural millwork has been discussed. Heavy mirrors and headwalls have fallen upon hotel guests while they were asleep in bed. Generally, these failures occur due to lack of appropriate fasteners, missed structural connections, or product tampering.

Mechanical fasteners, when properly used as recommended by the manufacturer, almost always assure safe and secure attachment of a fastened product. In commercial and residential applications, injuries resulting from mechanical attachment failures have often been attributed to inappropriate usage of products, improper installation procedures, or the failure of a poorly manufactured fastening product. When a product becomes disconnected from its point of attachment, serious personal injury can result.

This article will discuss plastic laminated products only. Although many other laminated materials are used for residential and commercial applications, plastic laminates are one of the most common products involved in casework claims and personal injuries.

My job as a cabinetry and millwork expert witness is to inspect and evaluate casework, cabinetry, or millwork that may have either failed or may be deficient in some way. Many of the past cases where I have been designated as the cabinetry and millwork expert witness have involved analyzing products that no longer exist because they have either been replaced or destroyed. What is available for review is often in the form of architectural elevations (renderings), photographs of the damaged cabinetry, or shop drawings and samples of the materials that were used. Generally, there is a question as to what entity is responsible for the monetary loss sustained. The usual course of action by attorneys is to sue all parties in the chain of events, from design through installation.

Having recently testified as the door hardware, lock and security expert witness on a very serious elder abuse case involving the rape of a 93 year old resident of a retirement home, I am intimately aware of the potential for physical violence and neglect aimed directly at senior citizens. The following is about a completely different kind of abuse involving our senior population.

Rape and patient abuse are more prevalent and common place in daycare and long term skilled nursing facilities than anyone would think possible.

The first two questions that I am often asked by attorneys during deposition or trial testimony are “On what percentage of cases do you work for the Plaintiff?” and “On what percentage of cases do you work for the Defense?”

Most of the misunderstandings pertaining to contractor and homeowner relationships occur as a result of unclear or wrongly interpreted construction contracts. Upon entering into a building contract, the enthusiasm for starting the proposed work often creates a kind of glazing over or dulling of the senses on the part of the homeowner. Many times questionable terms and arrangements for payment scheduling are accepted or unknowingly agreed to as the homeowner’s urgent desire to start work overshadows common sense. Often, the lowest priced contractor seduces the homeowner with promises of more value for the money.

As a Construction Expert Witness, I have been involved in numerous homeowner vs. contractor lawsuits that turned out to be directly created by contractor fraud. In this article, I have combined a few different actual cases, highlighting the various tactics used by dishonest contractors to bait and then hook the homeowner. In all of these cases, the homeowner prevailed.

The need to have increased security to public venues such as airports, schools, religious facilities, day care centers, shopping centers, and government buildings is nothing new. However, it has become apparent that many unexpected assaults and deadly attacks are coming from individuals that have gained a certain level of intimacy with the venues and organizations that they are invading. The attackers are not necessarily strangers, but people we know.

In December of 2012 a gunman broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and viciously murdered 20 children and 6 administrators. Adding Sandy Hook Elementary School to a growing list of other tragic school shootings confirms that any educational institution should be considered a viable target for future attacks.

Every good attorney needs to consider the validity of every potential claim. As the most frequently retained door expert witness, working for both Plaintiff and Defense evenly, I have been retained on door injury and wrongful death claims that were not caused by malfunctioning doors or door hardware. As discovery has often shown, people in poor physical or mental condition who are left unattended or unassisted while moving through properly functioning doorways are often the genesis of their own injuries. All commercial venues have the responsibility to maintain their facilities to industry wide standards, seek proper routine maintenance, and provide daily inspections of their door systems. However, it is difficult to provide safe passage to every patron of their facilities when some of those patrons may include persons requiring diligent physical supervision, special assistance walking, or have special needs due to disease, mental incapacity, or other unknown infirmities.

Injuries resulting from panic hardware are more prevalent than you might think. Injuries can be due to lack of maintenance on these devices and/or installation of spurious parts or components.

One of the most common types of expert related calls that I receive pertains to some sort of door injury. Door injuries caused by automatic pedestrian doors, manual doors, or garage doors often lead to serious and potentially life threatening high dollar liability and personal injury lawsuits. My case load as a door expert witness is evenly split between plaintiff and defense. I have written articles, testified, and been consultant on many door injury cases throughout the country and abroad. In addition, my services have been utilized by defense teams representing cross defendants such as door maintenance companies also named in the chain of commerce.

As a door expert, I am called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. In my professional career as a general contractor and door & hardware contractor, I have installed many different types of garage doors. I have been involved with roll up doors, both for commercial warehouse applications and automotive repair facilities that allow the passage of a motor vehicle. I have installed and serviced life safety/fire drop doors typically seen in hospitals, pharmacies, labs, shopping centers and other commercial venues. I have placed sectional doors in apartment buildings, single family homes and condominiums. My company has custom built many types of garage enclosures that have had special cosmetic concealed purposes for themed attractions. Working on historic buildings has given me the opportunity to work on sliding barn type doors, hinged parting doors and old carriage style swinging doors. I have removed and replaced the older style, overhead vintage single panel pivoting hinged garage door from commercial and residential locations, and have installed a variety of newer and safer products.

The overhead or floor mounted concealed door closer is a very common type of door closer mechanism which is normally unseen and unnoticed. In the majority of installations, these concealed closers are used on aluminum glazed storefront doors, hollow metal stand alone, or structural framed window systems. The concealed door closer design concept was initially engineered as a self-contained product that featured a center pivot allowing a variety of door functions with no exterior arm or visible operating hardware.

During the past several years I have been contacted many times regarding door injury claims related to manual door closers. In response to numerous inquires asking if I have published any manual door closer articles similar to the primers I have done on automatic pedestrian doors, I am offering this article for general information to assist attorneys in determining potential issues relating to manual door closer mechanisms.

We are all used to opening and closing doors on a daily basis. Unless you encounter a problem with the function of your doors, you probably don’t give their operation and component make up much thought. I am continually contacted by attorneys seeking my advice on an injury that took place because of an improperly adjusted or malfunctioning door. In this article, I am simply discussing manually operated doors. Nothing fancy or automatic about them, the kind where you grab a lever, push a plate or bang on a bar to enter or leave a room or building. So, if you want to learn to communicate professionally and simply with your door expert or even your building manager, read on.

If you run an active automatic door service company it is not a matter of IF you will be sued . . . it is a matter of WHEN ! What every door service provider can do to proactively protect their business.

Automatic doors are generally grouped into two major categories. Low energy and high energy doors. The difference between the two types of doors pertain to the ways that the doorways operate.

As the retained expert witness on many overhead door injury and wrongful death cases, some of the injuries I have seen include injured or severed fingers and limbs, bodily trauma, and death. Disabling injuries often lead to involved lawsuits due to the combination of jobsite and employer, landlord and tenant contractual agreements, and property owner liability insurance coverage. Knowing who is responsible for maintenance and inspections of these doorways is essential.

In conjunction with many other articles that I have had published pertaining to high energy doors, or what most people think of when they say automatic doors, low energy systems can be equally dangerous and need to be appropriately and properly maintained.

Within the past few months, I have been retained as expert witness to evaluate revolving door injuries in over a dozen different locations nationwide. While I usually see an even distribution of sliding door, swinging door, and revolving door injury cases, the revolving door injuries currently seem to be the most prevalent. What is particularly interesting is that no two of my recent cases were created by the same problem.

I have been involved in many automatic door cases during the past few years working for both plaintiff and defense. As discussed in one of my previous articles (The Ins and Outs of Automatic Door Operation), automatic doors are highly complex pieces of equipment that require daily attention. Most injuries occur when some component of the automatic door system malfunctions.

A basic primer in how they work, what to look for, and how to analyze defects vs. deferred maintenance. Expert door contractor, Michael Panish, takes you through the basics for your case. A basic primer about Automatic Door functions.

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