Trip-and-Fall Through Automatic Sliding Glass Doors


A woman fell when entering a department store and the automatic sliding doors at the entrance closed on her. Her estate claimed that her death several months later was caused by the sliding doors striking her and causing her to fall. Further, they claimed that the sliding doors had not been properly inspected, repaired, or maintained and that there were no warnings of a hazard.


Explico was provided with six photos of the sliding door, medical records, weather data, and testimony to reconstruct the incident. Our team of experts inspected the sliding doors to determine the validity of the hazardous environment claim given the status of the sliding doors along with the hazards and risks associated with using the doors when entering a store. Explico thoroughly inspected and documented the sliding doors using measurements, photographs, and our FARO3D laser scanner. The data generated during the inspection was used to build an accurate computer model of the sliding doors and walking surface. To simulate a trip-and-fall situation in the modeled environment, Explico used motion capture to show the motion of a person walking up to the door then falling in the doorway.


The finished product of the motion capture simulation showed a realistic positioning of the woman as she fell as well as varying door positions, such as doors wide open, doors closing, etc. The physical evidence ultimately showed that the woman most likely fell prior to any interaction with the sliding door panels and that she would not have interacted with the doors prior to her fall initiating. Her fall mechanism was more consistent with a trip, misstep, or loss of balance because of the wind gusts on that particular day.


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