Langsam Law LLP

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Elevator Trippings and Strandings

Posted August 16, 2016

{1:25 minutes to read} Maintaining elevators is the responsibility of the property owner, and every owner should have an elevator maintenance contract in place. Most elevator accidents fall under a concept that is called res ipsa loquitur, meaning that the simple fact that an accident occurred implies negligence. Both the property owner and the elevator maintenance company may be held liable for elevator malfunction.

When an elevator opens, it should be flush with the floor. Because a level elevator is an expectation, people do not generally look down to evaluate a step up or step down. Even the slightest misleveling of an elevator poses a tripping or stepping hazard, and elevators should be aligned as part of maintenance.

This maintenance should also test functionality. In this day and age, a well-maintained elevator should not malfunction. Elevator strandings can cause serious psychological damage, especially when prolonged. Several years ago, Good Morning America covered a story of a New York man who was stranded in an elevator for 41 hours, absolutely terrified. The man received a settlement from the building, and rightly so. 

If you or someone you know are stranded in an elevator or have been injured due to an elevator misleveling, contact a personal injury attorney. 

Case Study

Langsam Law represented a man who stepped out of an elevator that was six inches higher than the floor. The jolt of the unexpected drop caused a herniated disc. Langsam Law argued res ipsa loquitur and settled the case for medical bills, lost time at work and pain and suffering. 

Note: Prior results do not guarantee similar results.

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