Elevators in buildings, especially those housing the elderly, should be maintained on a regular basis to avoid elevator accidents such as the one that recently seriously injured a Harlem resident. Someone falling victim to a badly maintained elevator may be able to seek remedy through a premises liability lawsuit.
In the Harlem incident, an 84-year-old man suffered a possible leg fracture when his building's elevator got struck between two floors. According to sources, the building on 105th Street is run by the New York City Housing Authority.
Witnesses reported that the elevator started moving up before its doors were completely closed. The victim's legs were trapped outside the doors as the elevator ascended. The victim repeatedly screamed as he became pinned between the two floors, the witnesses said. Firefighters freed the victim from the elevator and transported him to Harlem Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
Building residents reported that the elevator involved in the accident had a history of problems and was not working properly before the incident. The building is home to many elderly and disabled residents. One witness in a wheelchair said that he and his mother felt stuck in their residence because they were scared they would not be able to get upstairs if they left. The NYCHA declined comment on previous complaints.
Authorities who own and operate the building are responsible for keeping the premises safe for residents. Acts of negligence by property owners can make them liable under premises liability law.
The victims of such negligence can claim compensation from property owners for any injuries or losses they suffer. With the help of an experienced attorney, victims can file premises liability lawsuit against the owners and claim damages for medical expenses, lost wages or other expenses related to the accident.
Source: NBC New York, "Elderly Man Critically Hurt in Harlem Elevator Accident," Lori Bordonaro, Jan. 1, 2013