A 62-year-old woman was severely injured in an elevator accident in Manhattan after the elevator fell three floors. According to a report on DNAinfo.com, the incident occurred in a building at Sutton Place near Sutton Square. The elevator reportedly plunged three floors down to the basement.
The victim was transported to a local hospital and was said to have been conscious at the time. She suffered a broken spine and several other fractures due to the fall. The elevator had been illegally installed in the four-story residential building that was built in 1899, city officials said. New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) has since inspected the accident site and issued a violation for the unregistered elevator. The DOB also notified the building’s residents to stop using the elevator until the repairs and registration are carried out.
Elevator Accident Statistics
According to the most recently available statistics, U.S. elevators make about 18 billion passenger trips a year. Those trips result in about 27 deaths annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Elevator mechanics and repairmen make up a majority of the victims who are affected by accidents involving elevators.
But, there have been a number of incidents in New York City where tenants and guests have been seriously injured or killed as a result of malfunctioning elevators. While elevator accidents don’t occur frequently, when they do occur, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Recent Elevator Accidents
There have been a number of elevator accidents in recent years in New York City that have occurred as a result of lack of compliance on the part of building owners. In October, a 6-week-old girl was killed and her mother was seriously injured when the elevator they were in plunged eight stories. The Coney Island building where the incident had occurred had a long history of code violations and elevator complaints. In that case, the elevator doors opened suddenly, but the car was between 6 and 8 feet below the floor as the stroller rolled inside and fell to the elevator’s roof. The baby’s mother then landed on top of the girl and the stroller. The car then jerked and plummeted eight stories.
In June, a 4-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries after he fell down a garage elevator shaft. That fatal accident occurred when the boy was riding in a freight elevator to the third floor of the garage on Union Street in the Park Slope neighborhood with his parents. The boy then slipped through a 10-inch gap between the elevator and the wall, falling 50 feet. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Responsibility of Property Owners
Property owners and property managers are responsible for ensuring that a building’s elevators are in proper working condition and are safe for guests, tenants and visitors to use. When an elevator accident occurs, the DOB investigates the incident. Property owners and property managers also have an obligation to make sure that their elevators are repaired and maintained routinely by qualified, certified professionals. Those companies and building owners and managers, etc. have a responsibility to ensure that the repairs are completed properly.
When elevators are in the process of being repaired or maintained, companies are required under the law to put up warning signs stating that the elevator is under repair so people don’t mistakenly use them. There are several parties that may be held liable in elevator accident cases including, but not limited to, property owners, property managers, elevator maintenance and repair firms, etc.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or if you have lost a loved one 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, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
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. In an interview by the Canadian television station Global News after a fatal escalator accident in Montreal, Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm stated that the installation of emergency stop buttons that are easily located and run the entire length of the stairs could go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities.
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.
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