A primary issue in this case was the plaintiff's contention that the van rolled over due to the lack of occupant restraints being utilized by all of the passengers. HVE and SIMON were used to model the rollover collision. A free body diagram of the occupant loading was prepared to locate the center of gravity of all persons in the van. Since the propensity of the vehicle to roll was increased by unrestrained passengers, modeling the occupants as a single mass was conducted and determined to be conservative in nature. The results of the simulation proved that the van would have rolled over regardless of occupant loading conditions. It should be noted that the results of the simulation were effectively terminated after the initial roll had taken place.
The plaintiff called the State of Wisconsin's expert adversely to testify in their initial proceedings. The results of the computer simulation were presented to the judge and jury. The judge ruled on the matter after the plaintiff had rested their initial arguments. The judge dismissed the case against the State of Wisconsin for a lack of cause or evidence of negligence.
To view the movie from the SIMON simulation used by the State of Wisconsin's expert, click on any of the screenshots above, or visit the HVE Users YouTube Channel