A former grade 12 student has launched a $5-million lawsuit against the Halton Catholic District School Board after cutting his arm on a glass door embedded with wire mesh.
Last year, Sean Lloyd, 19, was rushing to class at Assumption Catholic Secondary School in Burlington and accidentally pushed the glass instead of the door’s metal bar.
His hand went through the glass panel and his lawyer says it essentially severed half of his forearm.
Lloyd told CityNews he required 48 stitches to repair the damage, but says things could have been much worse.
“If I were to trip before I went to push open that door and my head went through…I would be dead,” Lloyd told CityNews.
The teen’s lawyer alleges the school board knows the wire-mesh glass is dangerous.
The allegations haven’t been proven in court and the school board said it couldn’t comment on the matter for legal reasons.
An Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange document showed 100 glass related injuries between 1987 and 2000 — many involving the wire mesh glass.
The mesh panes, which are manufactured in Japan, even include a warning on them that states: “Wired glass should not be used where human impact is possible.”
University of Toronto science and engineering professor Doug Perovic, who will be called as a key witness, explained to CityNews why the glass is prone to breakage.
“The act of embedding that wire into the glass plate actually introduces flaws that are precursors to cracks so that’s a recipe for disaster when you are applying stress to a material with those kinds of flaws and defects,” he told CityNews.
Perovic advises schools to replace the meshed glass with new panes that are fire rated and more “impact resistant.”