Unsafe Elevators and Other Urban Nightmares

Having an elevator phobia is inconvenient in a city like New York — unless you do not break a sweat climbing 18 flights of stairs. Like fears about flying in an airplane, this one seems irrational — unless you watched news reports about Suzanne Harts, the advertising executive who was killed in an elevator accident in a Midtown office building last December.

An investigation found that someone working for an elevator repair company had turned off an important safety mechanism that would have prevented the accident.  The repair company subsequently fired several mechanics and their license was suspended. While this company may ultimately be held liable for the accident, any experienced Manhattan elevator accident lawyer would also look into the actions of the building owners and management. In fact, elevator inspection records for this office building showed a history of violations. If the property owners failed to take reasonable action to address these violations, they might share liability.

Premises liability law requires property owners to maintain a safe environment, including elevators, stairways, flooring and sidewalks. Public use areas should have adequate lighting and security measures. Potentially hazardous sites — like an elevator under repair — should have clear warnings.

Even the most diligent safety precautions cannot guarantee against tragic human error, but property owners cannot be allowed to cut corners, either. Rich & Rich, P.C., has successfully represented New Yorkers who were injured when a property owner neglected to fulfill their responsibilities to the public, helping clients get fair compensation.

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