A former student at Assumption High School in Burlington is suing the Catholic school board for five million dollars because of an injury he received last year before graduation. Sean Lloyd says he was unaware of the dangers of so-called safety glass — before he accidently put his hand through a door and suffered permanent injuries. He says he wants to stop other students from getting hurt.
Sean says: “As you can see, my left arm will go further than my right.”
Sean Lloyd’s doctor says the nerve damage in his arm is likely permanent. A year ago he was a student at Assumption in Burlington, jogging to class a little late. When he pushed open this door, his arm went through the glass: “Apparently, I lost two pints of blood, 48 stitches, three on the inside.”
His lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, says the problem is the wired glass that made up most of the door: “Although it is commonly referred to as a safety glass, it is anything but. The reality is that wired glass breaks more easily than any other types of glass. And when it does, the wires hold pieces of the glass together causing further lacerations when pulling your arm out of the glass.”
You still see wired glass like this all over the place in schools even though the insurance company that covers school boards says it can be extremely dangerous on impact and shouldn’t be used in places where people are coming into contact with it.
Doug Perovic is a forensic engineering professor from the University of Toronto, retained as a subject expert: “A male of 200 lbs with an outstretched hand, at a brisk walk, can actually fracture one of these panels easily.”
It’s used because it is good for keeping fire from spreading — but there are modern alternatives.
Sean says: “I’m worried about the next person. Could be one of my friends who goes through one of those doors with their head and lacerates their neck, as much as it lacerated my arm. It’s going to kill them.”
His lawyer says wired glass has been banned in the U.S. since 2003 — and that Canadian building codes have yet to catch up