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23-story elevator fall lands with jury award

Many people in Troy have been on bumpy elevator rides before, the kind of rides that leave many people taking the stairs on the return trip, but few have had an elevator plummet 23 stories while they were onboard. What could easily have turned into a fatal elevator ride for one woman, has finally ended with a $13 million jury award.

When people in Troy go on someone else's property, whether it is in a private individual's home or a store, they must be protected against unsafe premises. If someone is injured while in an office building, he or she can often hold the owner liable for his or her injuries because it is the owner's responsibility to make public sections of his or her property safe for visitors. Similarly, in this case, the woman was able to hold both the owner of the high-rise building she was in and the elevator maintenance company financially responsible for her pain and suffering.

It has taken the woman over 13 years to finally receive her compensation. In May 1999 she was in an elevator when her elevator started to fall. At some point, it must have stopped, as she was able to call for the on-site elevator mechanic. Though whoever was repairing the elevator could have gotten the woman out of the elevator while he fixed it, he left her on the elevator. This would not have been a problem, except that the elevator continued to drop until it reached the basement.

The long, frightening ordeal left the woman with both physical and psychological scars. Her left leg remains partially paralyzed and she was forced to use a wheelchair for several years. In addition, she has pseudo seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. The jury ultimately awarded her $13 million to help offset the costs associated with her injuries.

Source: The South Florida Sun Sentinel, "Elevator fall nets woman $13 million jury award," Robert Nolin, Sept. 7, 2012

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