Articles

Ladder Failures: Pre-existing damage or material failure?

With spring approaching, Canadians may see the warmer weather as an opportunity to maintain eavestroughs and roofs, take down holiday lights or patch up paintwork. As such, many of us will be dusting our ladders off and climbing up high. However, unintentional falls from a high level can cause significant injury.

Product failures

Product failure is not uncommon and is usually more of an annoyance than a serious issue. However, sometimes products fail and result in serious damage or injury. These are often the product failures that warrant investigation and analysis to identify any potential subrogation opportunities. Causes of these failures are typically due to one of three issues: installation, manufacture or misuse.

Early failure of cabinetry: Is it always the user's fault?

Whether it is kitchens or bathrooms, we have all experienced or heard of damages to cabinets linked to humidity. As an example, let's just consider cabinet panels that swell or coating shell (veneer or thermoplastic) that delaminates. This type of degradation usually occurs as a result of long term usage, when the cabinetry components "get old". However, there are many cases where this type of millwork suffers from premature degradation. For instance, when similar damages are visible over multiple units of a building/condominium, it seems obvious that they are not independent and isolated cases.

Oil Heating Systems

An estimated 1.2 million households in Canada are heated by fuel oil. These households are predominantly located in rural areas. Though a functional and efficient heat source, these systems pose various risks to the homeowner. Their failures can result in the escape of hundreds of liters of oil into the surrounding environment - below foundations, and into wells, sumps, weeping tile, and groundwater. The associated remediation work is costly and can easily exceed the property value.

 

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