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Man dies in case of premises liability in New York

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Being in an apartment building that has a defective elevator can be scary. In the Lower East Side of New York City, New York, a man was killed because an elevator pinned him down between the floor and the top of the elevator he had just exited.

A woman and her son got on the elevator with the 25-year-old male victim and were taking their trash to the garbage bins on the ground floor. The elevator stopped between floors so the man pried the doors open and helped lift the woman to the floor above them. As he got out, his head became lodged because the elevator lurched a little. There was a crowd outside in the hallway of this floor so some of them tried to get the man unpinned to no avail. The 25-year-old man told the people there that he couldn’t breathe.

Someone called 911 and the fire and rescue squad came along with the police. They were not able to dislodge the man’s head so a specialty team was called in. They were able to free the man and the ambulance took him to the nearest hospital. The man passed away while being seen to at the medical facility.

This particular apartment complex houses low income immigrants. The elevator has had three safety violations dating back to 2012. It is a common occurrence for the elevator not to do what it is made to do. Many people have experienced the stopping and lurching of the elevator and some are afraid to use it at all.

If you have been involved in an accident at work or in a store or even at the home of a friend, this is called premises liability and a court case can be brought to sue the person or company at fault for the injury or death that was suffered. Legal action can be a positive step in getting your medical bills paid and, if you lost a loved one, pain and suffering can be taken into consideration along with the lost wages the person would have earned had he or she lived.

Source: The New York Times, “Man Crushed by Elevator at Building That Had a History of Complaints,” Noah Remnick and Benjamin Mueller, Jan. 01, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.