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Failing Subway Escalators and Elevators Pose Increasing Hazards to New York Commuters

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The New York Times recently posted an interactive feature on its website sharing tweets and photos from weary subway travelers who shared their woes with the publication, particularly about broken-down or dilapidated escalators that present injury risks to commuters. One commuter complained about the Whitehall station-escalator, which was broken. Another said not one escalator was working at 86th Street.

Dangerous Conditions

Out of 472 subway stations, only about 25 percent are accessible to riders in wheelchairs. Some stations are so deep under the city that commuters may have to walk up 100 steps to the street if the escalators aren’t working. Subway riders have had to deal with a lot in New York including unexpected delays, no air conditioning and broken ticket machines. Even as service on the New York City subway slowly improves, its escalators and elevators are reportedly getting worse.

One rider said she was shaken up after hearing a loud crash and seeing a part of the escalator at the 5th Avenue and 53rd Street station ripped up. “(It) may’ve shredded someone’s foot,” she tweeted. Only 87 percent of subway escalators in New York City were working in August, which was down 7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Elevators aren’t faring much better.

It can be difficult to even find an elevator in the subway. Recently, transit officials announced plans to install elevators at 70 stations over the next five years as part of the effort to make the system more accessible to all. But, commuters’ travails continue. On a recent morning, MTA reported that across the subway, 25 escalators and 22 elevators were not working. Broken elevators and defective escalators have also made it challenging for parents to manage young children while dealing with their strollers.

The Times reports that it may take days or even weeks to fix these problems because sometimes, workers have to order special or custom parts and other times, there are just not enough workers to take care of the repairs. MTA provides the status of its subway elevators and escalators on its website.

Why Do Escalator Accidents Occur?

There are a number of reasons why escalator accidents occur. One of the common reasons is sudden starts and stops. Escalators are designed to operate smoothly and are not supposed to start or stop abruptly. However, if the escalator is not programmed or maintained properly, there may be sudden starts and stops resulting in falls and serious injuries or even fatalities. An escalator may also be potentially lethal when it has a defective comb plate or missing teeth. Escalators are designed with a series of cleats in the shape of teeth to prevent objects or riders from being caught.

When escalators are not properly maintained, protruding parts such as screws may cause passengers’ clothes to get caught. Some escalators are just badly designed and have gaps where people’s clothes or shoes may get caught. Escalators are required to be periodically inspected. Poor escalator maintenance may result in malfunctions and accidents.

Liability Issues

Escalator accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries such as head injuries, spinal cord trauma, lacerations, bruises, broken bones and internal organ damage. Many of these injuries may result in long-term or even lifelong disabilities. In some cases, escalator accidents may lead to fatalities. Here, the family members of the deceased victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant or defendants.

When someone is injured in an escalator accident, he or she may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit against the negligent (careless) parties including, but not limited to, the property owner, property manager or a management company, escalator maintenance company, etc. Injured victims of escalator or elevator accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator or elevator accident, the experienced New York 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.

For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm helped recover $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 (similar to NBC) after a fatal escalator accident in Montreal, Kenneth A. Wilhelm stated that the installation of emergency stop buttons that are easily located and run the entire length of the escalator stairs may go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

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 and medical malpractice cases in New York, 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: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/21/nyregion/subway-escalators.html?mtrref=www.google.com&assetType=REGIWALL

 



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