This case involves a female patient who suffered severe injuries as a result of coming in contact with scalding water during a shower. The plaintiff was visiting a friend and, at the time of the incident in question, was using their shower. After allowing the water to run for a few minutes, the plaintiff stepped into the shower when scalding hot water burned nearly 40% of the surface of her body. As a result of her exposure to the scalding water, she suffered severe burns to her face, arms, neck, ears and back. It was alleged that the maximum water temp was set too high by apartment maintenance, leading to dangerously hot water emerging from the taps and shower fixtures of tenants’ apartments.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have extensive experience with water delivery systems?
Expert Witness Response E-009355
I have extensive experience with water delivery systems, including domestic hot water systems. I founded and managed a multi-discipline engineering firm that provided design of mechanical (HVAC, plumbing and fire protection) systems for a wide variety of buildings for more than 20 years. I would have to inspect and evaluate the system myself to determine the exact reasons for the scalding conditions in this particular shower, however shower water should never be so hot as to cause the kinds of injuries described in the case above. I have been involved in an number of cases that have involved scalding.
This expert has over 35 years of experience as a professional engineer. He is a registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer (P.E.) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. He is an internationally recognized authority on assessing, evaluating, conceptualizing and remediating complex project design, construction and operational issues related to HVAC systems, cleanrooms, piping systems, refrigeration systems, and building and fire code compliance. He has analyzed and designed hundreds of projects including commercial facilities, institutional laboratories and clean-room facilities for the semiconductor and other industries. He currently is the owner and principal of his own engineering consulting firm. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at a university in Arizona, and lectures on the analysis and design of environmental control systems (HVAC) for buildings.