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Damages Suit Raises Safety Concerns About Wired Glass in Schools

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SOURCE Smitiuch Injury Law Professional Corporation

Injured High School Student Launches Suit Against Halton School Board

TORONTO, April 29, 2014 /CNW/ - A $5 million damages suit filed today against the Halton Catholic District School Board is raising alarm bells about the safety of wired glass, commonly used in elementary and secondary schools across Canada as a fire retardant.

Last May, Sean Lloyd, an 18-year-old grade 12 student at Assumption Catholic Secondary School in Burlington, was on his way to class when he tried to push open a wired glass hallway door. His arm went through the wired glass, which broke, severely lacerating the muscles, nerves and tendons of his right arm, requiring emergency surgery. Lloyd, an avid athlete in high school, has not regained the full use of his arm, which is badly scarred.

"This case raises serious concerns about the potential danger that wired glass poses for all students," said Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC, the lawyer representing Sean Lloyd. "The reality is that Sean is one of far too many young people injured by wired glass in schools."

The Ontario School Boards' Insurance Exchange (OSBIE), which promotes safe school practices, has posted a Risk Management Advisory on its website that clearly states, "Wired glass can cause horrible injuries." The advisory makes note of more than 100 claims against Ontario schools for glass injuries between 1987 and 2000, with "many of these injuries caused by wired glass." OSBIE warns that wired glass shatters on impact more readily than plate glass, and says, "For this reason wired glass is especially dangerous in areas where people might easily make contact with it."

Smitiuch alleges in his statement of claim that the Halton Catholic District School Board was negligent, by failing to replace or upgrade wired glass with safer materials.

"This is a very frightening situation. The continued use of wired glass in schools and other locations is an accident waiting to happen," Smitiuch added. "We hope this case prompts school boards right across Canada to either remove or properly laminate wired glass in schools. Student safety should be the first priority."

Michael Smitiuch served as counsel in the first successful North American case against Corning Incorporated and World Kitchen Inc., involving Visions Glass Cookware.

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