Several years ago I was an "expert witness" on a case where a drunk student
fell over a 36" rail at 2nd floor of a rental 2 family house. He was
permanently disabled, having landed on his head. Although both a structural
engineer and I testified that the rail was up to code structurally and in
design, the jury took one look at the poor guy in his wheel chair and gave
him $16,000,000. That's why you overdesign so you can say you did everything
you could to prevent the accident.
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