The deadline for the New York City regulation that mandates the installation of door-lock monitors on about 44,000 elevators citywide by the end of the year is fast approaching. According to a report in The New York Times, this regulation means that tens of thousands of elevators in the city need to have these safety mechanisms installed or upgraded. This safety system is crucial because it prevents an elevator from moving if the doors are not properly closed. The city regulation was prompted by a 2011 fatal elevator accident in a Manhattan office building.
A Critical Safety Upgrade
In 2014, the New York City Department of Buildings required all elevators to have the door-lock monitors by Jan. 1, 2020. Property owners who fail to comply will face financial penalties, city officials said. The Times spoke with an elevator consultancy company’s owner who said they are busy installing or upgrading these mechanisms in elevators across the city. He also said he has been surprised to still get calls from property owners who are just finding out about this regulation.
Department of Buildings officials have said they will check whether elevators have the door-lock monitors as part of routine inspections that are expected to occur twice a year. Door-lock monitor upgrades are not considered expensive because the required system is already in place and only needs a simple software upgrade. The cost to modify an elevator between five and 10 years old may cost $5,000 to $15,000 and for elevators 10 years and older, the price may increase to about $25,000.
It takes about one or two days to install the upgrades, but it may take about five weeks of preparations to get permits, draw up blueprints and write engineering reports. In addition, some elevators might require specific parts such as a software panel to be made by the manufacturer, which may take more time.
The Department of Buildings is also requiring elevators to have a secondary emergency brake installed by 2027, which is prompting several property owners and property managers to consider a complete upgrade, particularly if the elevators are more than two decades old. However, that may be a much more challenging process and may take much longer than just a software upgrade.
Elevator Accidents and Liability
According to the city’s 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. About 50 percent of these involved passengers, but a majority of those who suffered fatal injuries were elevator mechanics.
Property owners and property managers are responsible for ensuring 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 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, 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 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.
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
If you found this article useful, please share it!