When we use public buildings, it is usually with the assumption that we will be safe. We expect stairways to be even and handrails to be secure. When we step inside the elevator of a New York building, it is with the expectation that it will take us up or down the appropriate number of floors without any incident.
Unfortunately, that is not the experience two women had when they used the elevator at an office building. A woman and her mother entered an elevator and pressed the button to go up one floor. However, the elevator did not stop at the second floor. Instead, the elevator continued up to at least the 11th floor, before dropping suddenly.
The elevator fell back down all the flights it had just ascended. The women were trapped inside the elevator, as the light fixtures and metal brackets fell from the ceiling. The women are suing for the accident in the office building.
When the elevator finally stopped, the women had no idea what was happening. They didn’t know whether they were safe, and they feared there may have been an attack on the building. The women screamed for help, and when they did not receive and answer, they called the police.
Firefighters responded to the scene, and they asked the women if they were able to open the inside portion of the elevator door. Although the women were able to do that, neither they nor the firefighters were able to open the outside portion of the doors.
As the time it took to open the elevator door dragged on, the women became anxious and afraid, and they asked for the elevators doors to be opened as quickly as possible. The women were told they needed to wait because an elevator technician was en route.
When the elevator doors were finally opened, both women were able to walk out. Although they denied medical attention at the time, they both required physical therapy, pain medication and massages in the time since the elevator accident.
The women are suing for medical and therapy costs, as well as for physical, mental and emotional suffering. They are asking that all involved parties take full responsibility for their negligence.
Source: The Orange County Register, “Elevator rides: ‘We thought we were going to die’,” Brian Martinez, 17 July 2011