March 5, 2012 • Premises Liability
On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
Late last year, a New York City advertising executive was tragically killed in an elevator accident on her way to work. We have been following along as officials investigated the accident and it now appears that a disabled safety switch was the ultimate cause.
The accident happened on Dec. 14. The woman stepped into an elevator in her 26-story office building when her foot or leg became caught in the elevator doors. The elevator then shot upwards, trapping her between the elevator and the wall.
The morning of the accident, workers from Transel Elevator Inc. were doing maintenance work at the woman’s office. Shortly before the accident, a safety switch was bypassed which normally prevents the elevator from moving when the doors are open. However, a mechanic claims the safety switch was enabled before the accident occurred.
Five mechanics with Transel Elevator Inc. have now been fired. In addition, a co-owner of the company has had his license suspended by the Department of Buildings. One official has also criticized workers for failing to follow basic safety procedures, such as putting caution tape across the elevator doors as they were working.
Transel Elevator Inc. maintains about 2,500 elevators in New York City. They have continued to operate since the accident.
Criminal charges have not been filed against the elevator maintenance company or any of the five employees who were working at the time of the accident. However, they could be held responsible in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. When someone is killed due to another person’s negligence, they should be held responsible.
Source: CBS New, “Workers fired after deadly NYC elevator accident,” Feb. 29, 2012