On January 1, 2016 the New York Times reported that on New Years Eve a falling elevator crushed a man to death at a building located at 131 Broome Street in Manhattan. The Times reported that the building had three open violations on its elevators that were issued by the city Buildings Department for failing to correct defects dating to a 2012 inspection, according to city records. Dozens of complaints filed with the Buildings Department over the years echoed the same problems. One complaint said two of the three elevators had been out of service for a week, and another complaint made a few weeks later said all three elevators had stopped working for an hour. In 2011, a tenant said the elevators were shut down at night, forcing them to use the stairs, only to be restored at 7 a.m. each day
Elevator accidents, including misleveling, shaking, sudden stops, lifts or drops, erratic door movement and door failure, to name just a few, are common occurrences in New York City because of its plethora of high rise buildings. Many apartment buildings with as few as 5 or 6 floors throughout the city contain passenger and/or freight elevators. The City has many residential and commercial buildings with the number of floors exceeding 10, 25, 50 or even more. Such buildings have extensive and complex elevator systems that need regular maintenance and monitoring. The City of New York Department of Buildings aims to perform at least one inspection of every elevator each year. Building owners are required to keep a record of the inspection certificates in each elevator. If the inspection certificates are kept in the building management office, there must be a sign in the elevator indicating the location of the inspection certificates. Upon request, inspections and tests can be expedited for high-rise buildings, schools, buildings involving the disabled and the elderly, single elevator buildings or elevators serving one section of a building.
There may be many reasons for an elevator accident to occur such as, for example, poor maintenance, faulty repairs, mechanical failure, electrical breakdown, improper inspections, or even a manufacturing or design flaw. Any of these problems can cause an elevator to malfunction and can cause horrific injuries or even death. If you have been seriously injured in an elevator accident and wish to pursue an injury claim it is important that you seek legal assistance immediately in order that your attorney can retain the proper experts to promptly inspect and test the elevator and investigate the accident to determine whether the cause of the incident was due to negligence of the property owner, elevator installers, or maintenance or repair personnel or whether there may be a potential products liability claim against the manufacturer or designer of the elevator. Our team of accident attorneys is skilled in prosecuting claims of people injured in elevator accidents. We will evaluate your case, investigate the accident, and hire all necessary experts to prosecute your claim, at no upfront cost to you, so as to protect your rights to the fullest to ensure that you receive swift and appropriate compensation. Please contact O’Dwyer & Bernstien at 800 471-2402 for a free consultation immediately.