Hot off the Press: Kathleen Denbeigh and Dr. Robert Parkinson Published in The Lawyers Weekly

Giffin Koerth’s Kathleen Denbeigh and Dr. Robert Parkinson have been published in the latest issue of The Lawyers Weekly. Their article, entitled “Anatomy of a slip and fall”, focuses on the slip resistance of modern footwear, and circumstances where it is necessary to consider footwear as a potential contributor to a slip and fall event.

Slippery walking conditions are familiar to Canadians, but ice and snow are not prerequisites for a slip and fall; slips and falls also occur on indoor surfaces, with potentially serious consequences. Such falls are a major source of injury and lost-time costs when they occur in the workplace, and as the population ages, the frequency and severity of slip and fall injuries is likely to increase. There are many factors that can potentially contribute to a slip initiating, including the environment and walking surface, individual walking biomechanics, and footwear properties. The likelihood that a slip, once initiated, will result in a fall can also be influenced by footwear, as well as pedestrian characteristics and their ability to recover balance. A consideration of all factors can provide a full picture of the contributors to a slip and fall, although this article briefly focuses on footwear.

Kathleen is an Intermediate Associate in the Personal Injury Group, and Rob is the Principal of the Biomechanics & Personal Injury Assessment Group.

Hot off the Press: Chad Gooyers Published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering

Working with Dr. Jack Callaghan, the Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention, Dr. Chad Gooyers conducted one of the first experiments to examine the cycle-varying changes in the mechanical properties of intervertebral disc tissue under cyclic biaxial tensile loading conditions.

Numerous in vitro studies have examined the initiation and propagation of fatigue injury pathways in the intervertebral disc using functional spinal units (see Figure 1, below); however, there have been fewer studies performed with isolated tissue samples under biaxial loading conditions. Results from this study demonstrate that with cyclic biaxial tension applied to multilayer samples of annulus fibrosus tissue, several statistical interactions emerged between the magnitude of tissue stretch, cycle rate and location on the disc where the tissue samples were harvested from.

Based on the greater magnitudes of peak stress that were observed in tissue samples obtained from the posterior-lateral region of the disc, it is hypothesized that these changes may provide a theory to explain the increased prevalence of micro-structural damage that has previously been documented in this region of the intervertebral disc. These findings are discussed in the context of the known mechanisms for structural damage that have been linked to fatigue loading in the intervertebral disc.

Gooyers, C.E. & Callaghan, J.P. (2016). Peak stress in the annulus fibrosus under cyclic biaxial tensile loading. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, In Press.

Giffin Koerth Launches New Undergraduate Forensic Biomechanics & Kinesiology Course

Giffin Koerth is proud to announce the first offering of an upper year undergraduate course in Forensic Biomechanics and Kinesiology, designed by members from Giffin Koerth’s Casualty Group.

This is the only course of its kind in Canada, offered exclusively at the University of Waterloo, entitled “Forensic Biomechanics”. The course will focus on the role of biomechanics and kinesiology in the context of litigation surrounding injuries occurring as the result of motor vehicle collisions, slips, trips and falls, and protective equipment. Students will be encouraged to develop a strong sense of the science behind such analyses, and the critical importance of clear, concise and compelling communication.

Congratulations to Rob Parkinson, Jamie Catania, Kathleen Denbeigh, Chad Gooyers and Adam Campbell.

Giffin Koerth’s Biomechanical Experts have been published in the latest issue of The Lawyers Weekly

Giffin Koerth is excited to announce that Dr. Chad Gooyers and Dr. Robert Parkinson have been published in the latest issue of The Lawyers Weekly.

Their article, entitled “Latest Helmet Research Good for the Brain”, provides a brief synthesis of the recent dialogue on the relationship between concussion and the protective capacity of helmets in both sports and recreational activities.

With regular media coverage of the potential dangers of concussion and repetitive head impacts, we have seen an increased interest in the protective capacity of helmets as they relate to civil litigation matters. While there is a general consensus that helmets can prevent head injuries, debates as to whether helmets can reduce the incidence of concussions (mild traumatic brain injuries), specifically, are long-standing. However, an understanding of helmet design principles paired with a discussion on the mechanics of head impact provides answers to questions regarding whether a helmet could, or should, have prevented personal injury, based on their design and function.

Helmets are designed to decrease the mechanical energy transferred to the head during impact, which lowers the resultant peak accelerations experienced by the brain. Biomechanical research studies have shown that helmets are highly effective in preventing severe head injuries, such as skull fracture. However, modern day helmets and current certification standards are not designed to guard against concussion. With an increasing awareness of the risks of concussion, it is expected that standards will evolve to eventually include more refined thresholds for safety.

Dr. Gooyers Participates in Osgoode-IPTI Expert Demonstration

On Monday, November 2nd, Dr. Chad Gooyers participated in an expert demonstration for the Osgoode-IPTI Certificate on Expert Evidence in Property Valuation Disputes.

Facilitated by David Campbell from Rogers Partners LLP, the purpose of this workshop, entitled “The Do’s and Don’ts in Delivering Your Evidence” was to demonstrate proven techniques to effectively render an expert opinion during an Examination-in-Chief, while also being mindful of common pitfalls to avoid.

Great job, Chad!