A 30-year-old man who lived in the Manhattan Promenade residential tower in the Kips Bay neighborhood was crushed to death after one of the building’s elevators dropped suddenly as he was exiting into the lobby. According to The New York Times, three others inside the car, who witnessed this horrific elevator accident unfold, were uninjured and rescued.
A building employee said security footage from the lobby recorded the fatal elevator accident. The video showed the elevator stopping shortly before 8:30 a.m. Aug. 22 on the first floor and two people stepping out, the employee told the Times. As the door began to close, the victim put out his hand to try and stop it. But, the elevator started moving down and the man was caught trying to exit the door. Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of this deceased victim.
Building’s History of Elevator Problems
The Times reports that elevator problems are not new at this luxury apartment building. For years, taking the elevators in this building was like riding “an unpredictable shaky rollercoaster,” the residents told the Times. The cars, they said, wobbled erratically and frequently stopped between floors. Sometimes, the doors would not fully close and need to be manually shut. Other times, they failed to open at all. The victim’s father said his son has complained often about the elevators in his building.
Residents of the 23-story luxury tower say they have long complained to their landlord about the elevators. But, they were often out of order and residents said they were not informed about the condition of the elevators. The building reportedly has two elevators for tenants. In May, the New York City Department of Buildings fined the building nearly $1,300 after inspectors found that a safety feature on one of the elevators had been tampered with or disabled.
On May 29, the city ordered the building to stop using that elevator until it was repaired. As of Aug. 22, the landlord hadn’t paid that fine even though the elevator was reportedly repaired. The management company for this building also operates a nearby apartment building at 220 East 25th Street, which the Times says, received citations for unsafe elevators including for uneven doors.
Fatal elevator accidents in New York City have occurred occasionally and with deadly consequences. In 2011, a 44-year-old advertising executive was killed when she got pinned between the elevator and wall of a Midtown office building. In 2016, a 25-year-old man was crushed to death in an elevator on the Lower East Side. In June, the state legislature passed a bill that would step up licensing standards for elevator technicians and create a state Elevator Safety and Standards Board. The measure has been approved by the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s approval.
Liability and Compensation
Property owners and property managers have a responsibility to make sure that elevators and escalators are well maintained and equipped with necessary safety features. The building owner and property manager or management company may be held accountable for injuries and losses caused by an elevator accident if they failed to have the elevator maintained or didn’t make timely repairs. Some of the other parties who can be held responsible include elevator maintenance companies that failed to perform the right repair and maintenance work and/or elevator manufacturers, especially if any of the equipment failed due to defective design or manufacturing.
Injured victims can file what is known as a premises liability lawsuit against at-fault property owners and/or managing agents, elevator maintenance companies, 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.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
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, elevator maintenance companies, 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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