Thomas Edison He is Not


Marlin E. Buckley, Carpenter – Licensed Electrical Contractor ::::

Case Synopsis:  A union electrical contractor was completing construction of a large public housing complex.  A journeyman electrician was sent to install receptacles and light switches in one of the units.  In addition to the electrical contractor, other specialty contractors were on site, busily finishing their portion of the project.

Our electrician was on the second floor installing devices when he heard someone outside holler his name.  He opened a window to communicate with the person.  When the conversation ended, he released the window sash, which came crashing down on his hand, causing severe injury.

Expert Analysis:  The claim was made that the window contractor failed to properly install the window. An exemplar window was examined in the vendor’s show room.  It was a very common vinyl double hung window.  The lower sash was designed to tilt in for easy cleaning of the outside.  Also, the sash could be removed from the jamb. Improper re-installation of the sash could be accomplished without engaging the spring balances.

A spring balance gauge was used to test the exemplar.  With the side spring balances properly engaged to the sash, the window required approximately 2 lbs. of force to raise.  With the spring balances disengaged, the force was more like 18 lbs.

Deposition transcripts revealed that the window sashes were routinely removed by numerous trades to facilitate loading of materials into the building.  Someone failed to properly re-install this sash. Upon lifting this sash, a highly skilled trades person should have immediately recognized something was amiss.

Result:  Case settled.

For additional information, contact Marlin Buckley at

Categories: Case Studies


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