In the wake of several elevator accidents in New York City, safety advocates are worried that these malfunctions could become more common across the city. Thousands upon thousands of elevators in New York City’s office buildings, apartments, retail stores, and subways continue to age while maintenance personnel continue to struggle with necessary inspections and repairs.
A majority of the elevator accidents in New York City over the past five years have been caused by equipment malfunctions. Either safety measures designed to protect passengers have failed or those measures have been installed improperly, manually disabled, or repaired incorrectly. When you step into an elevator, there’s no way for you to tell if it’s safe to ride.
Elevators have a life expectancy based on the type of elevator, the amount of usage it gets, and the frequency with which it’s serviced. Some elevators work without a hitch for 10 years or more. Others fail in half that time. A general rule of thumb in the elevator industry is that if an elevator is 20 years old, it’s already reached the end of its “cost effective” life-meaning it will begin to need many costly repairs just to stay in operation.
Under New York premises liability law, the owners of the buildings in which elevators operate and the elevator maintenance companies which are hired are required to keep these elevators reasonably safe. They are responsible for providing regular inspections, routine maintenance, and needed repairs. If the elevator cannot be kept safe to use, that elevator must be shut down so individuals aren’t potentially placed in mortal danger.
If an individual is injured in an elevator accident in New York City because an elevator was not inspected or repaired timely, that victim has the legal right to sue for compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered in addition to lost wages and unpaid medical expenses.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a malfunctioning elevator, contact an experienced elevator accident lawyer in New York City at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel. Call 800-734-9388 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.