The lack of fixes as well as poor maintenance for the elevators at a Bronx public housing complex continue to inconvenience and exasperate its residents. Exclusive video provided to Eyewitness News shows one elevator in the Butler Houses, a 21-story complex run by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (the Projects), apparently skipping floors, forcing residents to step off a six-inch ledge to access some of the floors in the building on Webster Avenue.
Eyewitness News reporters also rode one elevator, where residents had to pry the doors open to get out as the elevator stopped on multiple floors. Many residents who rely on wheelchairs and canes were reportedly waiting on the first floor of the complex, struggling to get to their apartments because of the malfunctioning elevator. Other residents had to take the stairs.
Persistent Issues with Elevators
In December, NYCHA promised elevator crews would fix these problems, but residents have complained the problems have continued. The so-called repairs that NYCHA has been making are not long-term, residents said. A NYCHA spokesperson who talked to Eyewitness News said the agency is in need of $32 billion in capital funding for upgrades to the city’s aging public housing complexes. This lack of funding to fix infrastructure, the agency has said, is the cause of ongoing equipment failures in “the Projects.”
Capital needs for new elevators at the Butler Houses are estimated at about $14.4 million. NYCHA has rated the elevators as being in “fair” condition and does not plan to modernize them until 2023. Meanwhile, residents say four years is simply too long to wait for reliable elevator services.
In addition to being simply inconvenient, these malfunctions also have the potential to cause elevator accidents that may result in major injuries or even fatalities. NYCHA has asked residents experiencing issues in their apartment to create a work ticket by using the MyNychaApp or by calling the customer contact center as 718-707-7771.
Elevator Accidents and Liability
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, since 2010, at least 22 people have been killed in passenger elevators or due to falls into elevator shafts citywide. Also, during the same period, the city agency estimates that there have been about 500 elevator accidents in New York City, of which 48 have led to serious injuries.
Property owners and property managers have a responsibility to make sure that elevators are well maintained and equipped with necessary safety features. The building owner and property manager may be held accountable for injuries and losses caused by elevator accidents if they had failed to maintain the elevator or didn’t make timely repairs. Some of the other parties who can be held responsible include elevator maintenance companies that fail to do a repair correctly or an elevator manufacturer, especially if any of the equipment had failed due to defective design or manufacturing.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Injured victims can file what is known as a premises liability lawsuit against at-fault property owners and/or managing agents, etc. and seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Those who have lost loved ones in elevator accidents may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits against the negligent (careless) parties seeking compensation for their losses as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or suffered injuries as a result of negligence (carelessness) on the part of property owners and/or property managers etc., 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 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.
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