City officials’ investigations have revealed a potentially dangerous flaw in a specific brand of elevator that has been installed in 60 buildings across New York City. According to a report in the New York Daily News, a city inspection after a fatal elevator accident in Williamsburg showed a potentially dangerous flaw in a specific brand of elevators used in buildings including the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum at Pier 86 and many other high-end condos and office buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Faulty Elevator Systems
The Department of Buildings has issued a warning requiring owners of these buildings to have employees operate these elevators manually or shut them down. Building owners have also been told to hire their own independent inspectors to look over the elevators and certify that they are safe. On Oct. 2, a 37-year-old man was crushed to death in an elevator accident after trying to get out of one of these lifts that had stalled between floors in a luxury apartment complex in Williamsburg.
The victim apparently tried to get out of the stalled elevator when the lift suddenly moved and crushed him between the lobby floor and the elevator’s roof. The brand of elevator found to have the deficiency was the Global Tardif Machine Room-Less Elevator with Leroy Somer Z2-Z3 AC Gearless Machine and Warner Brakes. The specific units are apparently found only in elevator systems installed since 2000. These elevators can be found in several upscale condos and office buildings in Chelsea, Soho and the West Village.
With the proliferation of high rises and other multi-level structures in New York City, elevators serve a very essential role. Each day hundreds of thousands of people get in and out of elevators at apartment buildings, condo complexes, airports, stores, malls, hotels and hospitals. Riding in elevators is so common in this city that few of us give much thought to how safe we might be in them as we step in and out. Unfortunately, elevator malfunctions can cause serious or even fatal injuries, as we saw in the Williamsburg case. When elevators are faulty, mechanical malfunctions can turn them into death traps.
In such cases, there are several parties that can be held potentially liable for victims’ injuries including:
• The manufacturer: The company that manufactured the elevator and/or elevator parts can be held liable for injuries, damages and losses caused by an accident.
• Building owner: A property owner or property manager that fails to properly maintain its elevators or replace defective parts can be held liable for victims’ losses.
• Maintenance company: An elevator maintenance company that fails to do its job properly can also be held accountable.
• Installer: A company may be held responsible for installing the elevator improperly, especially if building codes or laws were not followed correctly.
Steps to Take after an Elevator Accident
There are several steps victims would be well advised to take after an elevator accident. Get medical attention right away including emergency care. If you have suffered serious injuries, get to a hospital as soon as possible. Getting prompt medical attention can help put you on the road to recovery, document your injuries and the treatment you receive.
If you are able to write down important details such as the number of the elevator, name of the manufacturer, the servicing company and inspection information such as the dates when the elevator was serviced. Be sure to get contact information for eyewitnesses. If you are unable to gather this information, try and have a family member or friend collect these crucial details from the scene. Such facts that can help bolster your potential injury claim.
Take photographs with as much detail as possible of the scene including notices posted in the elevator and nearby that might pertain to the incident. Report the incident to building management and be sure to get a signed copy of the report. Immediately contact an experienced elevator accident lawyer who will help protect your legal rights and best interests.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our law firm recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
Source: New York Daily News
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