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Officials hand out more hefty fines after 2011 elevator accident

February 4, 2014 Premises Liability

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP posted in Premises Liability on Monday, February 4, 2013.

Readers of this blog likely remember the horrific elevator accident that took the life of a 41-year-old advertising executive in late 2011. The woman was on her way to work when the elevator in her Madison Avenue office building shot upward as she was stepping into it.

Repairmen working on the elevator in the building that day reportedly shut off a safety switch. They failed to turn the safety switch back on or warn people not to use the elevator when they stepped outside to take a break.

The accident was tragic. However, it has prompted officials in New York City to crack down on violations related to elevator safety. From January to October of last year, more than 750 of the most serious fines were handed out. In 2011, only slightly more than 500 of the most serious fines were handed out during that same time period.

“We have intensified our focus on elevator safety,” a Buildings Department official said.

People in New York City should be able to step into elevators without fear that they will be harmed as a result of improper maintenance. When people are harmed because of a property owner’s failure to maintain a safe premise, they may be able to pursue legal action.

The father of the advertising executive has done just that. Five workers from the elevator repair company have been named in a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court recently, according to the New York Post. Also named in the lawsuit is a co-owner of the repair company as well as the company that manages the building.

Source: New York Post, “Year after exec is killed in elevator accident, inspections way up,” Josh Margolin, Jan. 22, 2013