On May 29, 2009, attorneys from the Cavanagh Law Group representing the Estate of Dijion Sanders, a 6 year-old boy who was crushed by a garage door on May 9, 2009 on Chicago’s south side, inspected the garage door and electric garage door opener involved in the incident. Sears Roebuck & Co./The Chamberlain Group manufactured and sold the electric garage door opener. Cavanagh Law Group had consulting experts present for the inspection. The garage door involved in Dijion Sanders’ death was not equipped with InfraRed or motion sensors that would have stopped the door from closing if a person or object was in the door’s path. Since the early 1990’s the Consumer Products Safety Commission has recommended that garage doors be equipped with InfraRed or motion sensors to prevent automatic garage door opener entrapment incidents which are known and foreseeable dangers of electric garage doors.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has also recommended that electric garage door openers have automatic reversal mechanisms that reverse the garage door from closing when it presses on an object in its path such as a person, child’s ball, or bike. Additional inspections and testing of the Sears/Chamberlain Group electric garage door opener will take place to determine if it had an automatic reversal mechanism and, if one was present, if it malfunctioned by not reversing the garage door after Dijion Sanders was trapped.
If electric garage door openers are manufactured and installed correctly and maintained properly, garage door entrapment injuries and deaths should not happen.