Woman Suffers Paraplegia Following Accident in Fitness Competition


Biomechanics Expert WitnessThis case involves a 30-year-old female who was involved in a boot camp competition at a health club, where personal trainers expected her to lift a large amount of weight from the floor to above her head as many times as possible within a given time frame. Due to the timed nature of the challenge, the Plaintiff was encouraged to perform repetitions as quickly as possible, sacrificing proper technique for speed. At some point during the event, the Plaintiff lost control of the weight and fell, at which point the weight slammed into the Plaintiff’s back causing massive injuries. As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff now suffers total paralysis from the waist down and will require a lifetime of ongoing care. It was alleged that the competition’s directors were negligent in requiring participants to complete this dangerous maneuver.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please explain why you're qualified to serve as an expert reviewer of this engagement.
  • 2. Are you highly knowledgeable about orthopedic spine surgery, kinesiology, and biomedical engineering?

Expert Witness Response E-043660

I have analyzed over 2000 real world crashes involving injuries, injury dynamics, occupant motion, and determined the mechanisms of injury and injury causation to the human body. My expertise in the field of the fitness industry, biomechanics is founded on my formal education, training, research and teaching experience and over 25 years of applied biomechanical engineering experience. I was a faculty member at the Department of Neurosurgery of the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My research includes the biomechanical analysis of occupant motion or kinematics, including injury work and analysis of the head-neck system, thoracic-abdomen complex, and lower extremities, through the use of experimental crash studies and mathematical modeling. I have testified in numerous courts throughout the country. I have published over 230 research articles in the area of injury and vehicular biomechanics. I have been awarded three U.S. patents in the field of Biomedical/ Biomechanical Engineering,m and I am a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) society. Weight training can easily result in devastating injuries if the proper precautions are not taken and good form used.

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