Former student suing Halton Catholic school board over injury

Sean Lloyd is left with permanent damage to his right arm after the wired glass of a door broke

A former student is suing the Halton Catholic District School Board for $5-million in damages over a serious injury he sustained last year that has caused permanent damage.

19-year-old Sean Lloyd says he was jogging to his grade 12 class last May when the wired glass of a door fractured as he tried to push it open.

The door is one with a bar that should be pushed to open it. But Lloyd's lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, says the door was known to never latch properly and students got used to simply pushing the glass portion.

"He's left with serious disfigurement and scarring," Smitiuch says. "He's left with some functional restriction."

A lack of sensation in the forearm is also expected to be permanent.

Wired glass is used in many schools across the country as a fire retardant.

"The purpose of the wire is to keep the glass intact in case of fire," says University of Toronto materials science and engineering professor Doug Perovic.

Experts have been warning for many years, though, that the glass is also weakened by the wire to any kind of impact.

"In the U.S., there are, in many states, advocacy groups that have been successful to replace wired glass from schools completely," Perovic adds.

Meanwhile in Canada, Smitiuch says we're "very far behind" in terms of standards.

Smitiuch says he hopes the lawsuit will convince school boards to replace or reinforce the glass, and lead to new federal legislation banning the wired material.

It can be expensive to replace all the wired glass in every school, but Perovic says there is a cheaper option. A polymer can be adhered to the glass that would prevent it from fracturing on impact.

"Ultimately, cost should not be a consideration when you're talking about the safety of children," Smitiuch says.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
Comment Like
  • 13
  1. Mike from the hinterland posted on 04/29/2014 06:02 AM
    How about learning what a door handle is for and may be the school board should have fixed it! They seem to have time for every other stupid thing like banning water bottles and banning plastic utensils for you lunch etc.
  2. Brief and to the Point posted on 04/29/2014 06:53 AM
    Frivolous law suit because you should know enough to ...

    1. Never push on glass.
    2. Never push on glass.
    3. Never push on glass.
  3. Mark posted on 04/29/2014 07:23 AM
    Lets see. I think I'll run down a long hall and put my arm through a glass door.

    Seriously now. The kid says the door bar was "known to be a problem". I guess if the kid can prove that this was a chronic problem then he may have a case.

    Whatever he proves or not, he will get some money.
  4. Logical posted on 04/29/2014 08:52 AM
    The fact that the door didn't latch is irrelevant, as it would not make pushing the bar ineffective. The kid just screwed up.

    On an interview on "Moore in the Morning", the lawyer said they were suing for $5 million to send a message to the school board. If they win, I would suggest the kid receive no more than $100,000; the rest be put in trust for 10 years. If there are no more similar incidences, the message would be considered to have been received and the school board would get its $4.9 million back with interest. If they haven't fixed the problem, and an additional incident has occurred, they would forfeit the money to the family. Perhaps the school board should countersue the student for breaking their door.
    1. HP posted on 04/29/2014 10:18 AM
      @Logical The kid did not screw up. The school board must compensate him for the pain and suffering caused by their negligence. That glass is a known safety hazard and the latch was defective.

      Really no different than having asbestos or mould in the school.
  5. Frankie posted on 04/29/2014 09:37 AM
    Kid should consider himself lucky. A few years ago a student at McGill went through a glass door and bled to death in a matter of minutes.
    1. Frankie posted on 04/29/2014 09:54 AM
      @Frankie Then there was the lawyer testing the resilience of glass in downtown Toronto, went through the glass and fell to his death.
    2. HP posted on 04/29/2014 10:15 AM
      @Frankie Interesting case because that's how his real estate agent demonstrated how safe the window was...he would bounce off it to show that it was OK. The lawyer did this to show off to his friends for a couple of years, maybe once too many times.

      Should the agent be sued for showing him this trick? I think so.
    3. Angry Bill posted on 04/29/2014 11:01 AM
      @HP No.. You do something stupid like throw your body against a window in a high rise, you deserve whatever happens.

      The glass is designed to be resistant to someone running into it.. yes. But not on a consistent basis. If someone is in the habit of doing it every day to show his buddies that this glass is awesome, then yeah.. the glass will eventually weaken and break. And he goes for a short flight. And that's basically what happened in that particular case. The glass was not designed for repeated impacts of that nature. That wasn't what it was for.
    4. john posted on 04/29/2014 01:21 PM
      @Angry Bill to bad the lawyer is not around any more the people who own the building could sue the lawyer for getting the window fixed .
  6. DavidW_8846 posted on 04/29/2014 10:53 AM
    Shame on this kid. I call him a kid because he is not mature enough to know what accounability is.
    1. Mark7 posted on 04/29/2014 11:02 AM
      @DavidW_8846 He knows what accountability is...and the school board should be held accountable. They caused this kid a lifetime of pain and need to pay for their negligence.
  7. DavidW_8846 posted on 04/29/2014 11:49 AM
    More hall monitors are needed with an emphasis on safety.
showing all comments

Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts

Becoming a member only takes 60 seconds! Members get access to exclusive information and products that non-members do not, including concert ticket presales, trips, advance notice on upcoming entertainment events, movie screening passes, music giveaways and more!

Login with Facebook

Top Stories

Today's Poll

Now that Christine Elliott has both Rob and Doug Ford's support, do you think she has a better chance of becoming the next PC leader?

Voting is restricted to one vote every 24 hour(s) VoteResults


Stay connected 24/7! Receive breaking news and programming alerts right to your inbox. CLICK HERE to sign-up.