December 19, 2011 • Premises Liability
On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
One New York City woman went to work last week expecting to arrive back home safely, but a freak elevator accident claimed her life.
The incident occurred on Dec. 14 around 10 a.m. when the 41-year-old woman was on her way work. She arrived at her office building along Madison Avenue, but as she attempted to get into the elevator, the doors closed on her and the elevator shot upwards. Her body then became trapped between the elevator and the shaft wall.
Two other people were on the elevator at the time. Although they were not hurt, they are being treated for trauma.
The victim worked at Young & Rubicam, a New York City advertising agency.
It is not clear what caused the accident. Reports indicate that the elevator was last inspected in June. City records show that the building had 56 violations since 2001. The building’s 13 elevators were among some of the violations. All of the violations, however, were resolved.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 10,000 people are injured in elevator accidents each year, and about 27 people are killed.
Recently, another woman was killed in California as she tried to get out of an elevator that was stuck between floors. The elevator began to descend as she was trying to get out, but she was similarly trapped between the elevator and the shaft.
Although the exact reason for the elevator malfunction in the New York City incident is not known, the family of the victim may be able to collect compensation for their tragic loss. The building owner or the company in charge of maintaining the elevator may be held responsible.
Source: ABC News, “Woman Crushed in New York Elevator Accident,” Richard Esposito and Christina Ng, Dec. 14, 2011