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New York City elevator accident leads to wrongful death lawsuit

Many people in Schenectady may remember hearing about a New York City woman who was killed in a freak elevator accident in December 2001. The woman had been walking into the elevator when it quickly rose up, causing fatal injuries. While the elevator was under repair at the time of the accident, the individuals repairing it failed to put up any signs indicating this and, now, the father of the woman who was killed is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the elevator repair company, as well as the company that manages the Manhattan building.

This past February, New York City officials investigated the incident and came up with a list of findings in the woman's death. In its report, investigators determined that employees from the repair company failed to follow normal safety procedures. Following the report, the repair company's license was suspended for 23 different violations.

Some of the things the individual employees did wrong include:

  • Failing to put up signage indicating the elevator was not operating properly and that it was under repair
  • Failing to turn the safety circuit back on after finishing initial repairs
  • Failing to seek approval and inspection by the Department of Buildings prior to putting the elevator back into service
  • Failing to remove a wire that bypassed the elevator's safety circuit

Tragically, these mistakes appear to have caused this woman's death. It is likely that she never thought much about elevator safety before this, assuming that building management and repair companies would do what they need to do to keep the building safe. As with any building owner or manager, it is a responsibility to ensure that people on the property will not be injured by hidden safety issues.

Source: The New York Post, "Father of ad exec killed in elevator suing repair company," Josh Saul and Dan MacLeod, Jan. 29, 2013

In our practice, we have worked with numerous people who have been injured when safety issues are uncovered in New York. You can find out more about our work and seeking compensation after becoming injured on unsafe premises by visiting our website.

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