Articles Posted in Elevator Accidents

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Elevator panel

Elevator accidents in New York are an infrequent occurrence.  When they occur, they can be extremely scary for passengers as passengers are often helpless and have done nothing to cause the accident.  As reported by the New York Post, a 50-year old woman was trapped inside an elevator for the entire weekend at the premises located on East 65th Street.  The elevator was apparently stuck between floors and the owners were out of town for the weekend.  Upon returning on Monday morning, the owners discovered the woman, who was their maid, trapped in the broken-down elevator.  She was taken to the hospital but no injuries were reported.

This incident raises multiple questions concerning elevator liability in New York.  At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our elevator accident lawyers handle elevator accident cases which result in serious injury or death to passengers, building employees, custodial staff, emergency safety workers and elevator maintenance and inspection personnel. We have the resources and experience necessary to secure fair compensation for individuals who have suffered an unnecessary injury.

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The Appellate Division, First Department held in the case McCrea v Arnlie Realty Co. LLC that an elevator under repair can be a “falling object” within the meaning of New York Labor Law 240(1). The Court upheld Summary Judgment to the inured plaintiff under Labor Law 240(1) stating:

“The evidence here establishes that at the time of the accident, McCrea was engaged in “repair” work because the elevator’s safety shoes were not operating properly, and the condition was an isolated event, unrelated to normal wear and tear (see Dos Santos v Consolidated Edison [*2]of N.Y., Inc., 104 AD3d 606, 607 [1st Dept 2013]; Pieri v B & B Welch Assoc., 74 AD3d 1727, 1728-1729 [4th Dept 2010]). In addition, the elevator was a “falling object” within the meaning of the Labor Law, even though it was not actually being hoisted or secured at the time of the accident, because it required securing for the purpose of McCrea’s repair work (see Matthews v 400 Fifth Realty LLC, 111 AD3d 405, 406 [1st Dept 2013]).”

The Court continues and explained its reasoning:

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In New York City, injuries resulting from elevator accidents are surprisingly common. Elevator and escalator accidents kill about 30 people each year and injure 17,000 nationwide, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A tragic death occurred in Park Slope, Brooklyn when a 4 year old boy fell down an elevator shaft after having tumbled through a gap between a wall and the elevator at a parking garage. The boy fell about 50 feet from the 3rd floor of the garage according to a report by CBS News New York. The New York City's Department of Buildings is conducting an investigation into this terrible accident.

Individuals who have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an elevator accident should seek the counsel of personal injury lawyer immediately. For a free review of your legal options, call (212) 406-1700 or contact us online. Our lawyers will review your case to see if you have a valid claim for compensation.

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In a report issued by the New York City Department of Investigation, a fatal elevator accident which occurred on Christmas Eve of 2015 was entirely preventable as the New York City Housing Authority knew of the defective elevator and did nothing about it. Furthermore, an important safety device was disconnected for no apparent reason. As reported in the New York Daily News, this fatal accident was caused by both specific and systemic flaws in elevator maintenance by the New York City Housing Authority.

People who live and work in New York City rely on elevators on a daily basis. They expect those elevators to be installed and maintained in a safe manner. Additionally, elevators themselves are equipped with multiple and redundant safety feature to prevent or minimize elevator accidents.

Elevator owners and operators have a legal obligation to properly maintain equipment and have elevators regularly inspected and serviced. Moreover, all elevators in New York City must be inspected by the Building Department and a private inspection agency on a regular basis.