Explico biomechanical engineers Steve Rundell and Shaun Jeffs were tasked with determining injury risk by computing forces and accelerations of plaintiff’s head and neck resulting from the impact. As the video did not show the precise moment of impact, they investigated a range of possible impact scenarios. The position of the plaintiff’s body was determined through analysis of the surveillance video. A female surrogate was used to quantify the plaintiff’s posture. An exemplar bin was then dropped from an exemplar shelf in the same manner as seen in the surveillance video, and the velocity of the bin was determined via video tracking software. To characterize the impact duration, the exemplar bin was dropped onto a force plate.
Using this data, Explico simulated the incident in MADYMO, a software package designed to calculate the human body’s response to external forces. To account for potential variability in plaintiff’s position and the orientation of the bin, a sensitivity study of 10 separate impact scenarios were analyzed. The results showed that the accelerations and forces plaintiff would have experienced in her head and neck were considerably less than those associated with acute injury and were consistent with those experienced during common, benign activities of daily living.