Student sues school board over broken glass injury

Lawsuit claims that school board knew about the dangers of wire mesh safety glass

A student from Burlington is suing the Halton District Catholic School Board for $5 million because of a severe injury he received linked to wire mesh safety glass, according to CBC News. The student had tried to push open the door at his school when his arm went through the glass. The student's lawyer claims that wire mesh safety glass is inherently dangerous and that the school board overlooked the risk it posed to students.

Student received lacerations

The incident happened last year when the student was jogging to a class he was running late to. According to Inside Halton, he originally tried to push the metal bar to open the door, but when he found the bar was stuck he pushed on the glass instead. The glass broke and his arm went through the door, resulting in severe lacerations. The student suffered serious personal injuries as a result.

According to the lawsuit, the injuries were so severe that the student has still not regained full use of his arm nearly one year after the incident. The lawsuit also alleges that the metal bar used to open the door was frequently jammed and that students at the school routinely pushed on the glass in order to open the door.

Safety of wired mesh glass questioned

The lawyer representing the student says the $5 million being sought is mainly because the school board knew about the dangers posed by wire mesh but failed to do anything about it. Wired glass is used as a fire retardant as it tends not to explode under extreme heat, thus protecting firefighters. Of the $5 million being pursued, $3 million of that is being sought against the school board in punitive damages.

Although the glass is recognized for its use in protecting firefighters, it is also known to be much more prone to breaking and causing injuries than plate glass. In the past 13 years, over 100 cases involving safety glass have been claimed against Ontario schools according to the Ontario School Boards' Insurance Exchange ("OSBIE").

Expert Evidence

A University of Toronto engineering professor, who plans on giving evidence in the case, says that wired glass is much more prone to fracture than plate glass and that it poses a significant risk. In fact, OSBIE's website claims that while the wire can keep the glass in place, it can also cause "horrible injuries to any part of the body that penetrates it."

Personal injury lawsuits

As this case shows, a serious injury can occur even when doing something as simple and ordinary as opening a door. Property owners, such as school boards, are responsible for making sure that their properties do not pose any undue hazard to visitors, guests or residents.

Anybody who has suffered a serious injury because of the possible negligence of another party should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. With expert legal counsel, victims of a serious injury can make sure that they have the legal tools they need in order to hold any negligent parties to account and recover compensation for their injuries.