Industrial Strap Failure Causes Worker Permanent Paralysis


Textile Engineering Expert

This case involves a man that was paralyzed while working on a utility truck. The nylon strap used on the truck failed, causing the drive shaft to swing down and strike the plaintiff. As a result of the injuries he sustained from being struck, the plaintiff remained permanently wheelchair-bound and unable to return to work. An investigation of the vehicle revealed that the body of the truck itself was in good condition and did not contribute to the accident. It was alleged that the strap manufacturer produced a defective nylon strap which and that this negligence caused the plaintiff’s paralysis.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How long have you been involved in the textile industry?
  • 2. Will you be able to determine if the strap was defective?

Expert Witness Response E-098671

I would be more than happy to review this case. I have been a professor of textile engineering for 32+ years. I have taught classes focused on natural and manufactured fibers during every one of those years. These classes have mostly focused on fiber science, yarn manufacturing, and textile product design. I have worked on at least two cases in the past that focused on straps or webbing made of manufactured fibers. I have also worked on other cases involving ropes made of natural fibers.

Expert Bio:

This expert has extensive experience in textile engineering. His research interests include the broad area of short staple yarn manufacturing. This expert’s past successful research projects have dealt with process controls in drawframe autolevelling, novel sensing and control in carding, HVI cotton fiber property measurement and significance, roller-drafting and autoleveling at carding (includes 4 patents), moisture control in staple spinning, ginning technology development, and novel fiber instrumentation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and his master’s degree in fiber science. In addition, this expert is active in the field as a member of the American Association of Textile Engineering and American Society for Engineering Education. Currently, he serves as interm director at a textile engineering university.

Expert Witness Response E-120788

Expert-ID: E-120788

I am familiar with the technologies and materials used for making such straps. I have been involved in the strap industry for over 35 years and will be able to determine if the strap in question was defective or whether it was being used in an appropriate way. I reviewed a similar seat belt failure case which required extensive testing and analysis of synthetic ropes and flat tapes. I am also familiar with the structure and properties of these fibers.

Expert Bio:

This expert has extensive experience in the development of new test methods for the evaluation of raw materials and end products, specifically fibers, textiles, and cords. He earned his Ph.D. in textile engineering, a master’s degree in decision sciences, and a master’s degree in textile technology. The expert is a member of numerous professional societies and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed works in his field. He formerly served as professor of textile technology and as a research associate/scientist at several prestigious research universities. The expert currently serves as a senior research associate at a textile and fiber engineering program.

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