A 4-year-old boy lost his life in what the media is calling a “nightmarish” elevator accident. The boy fell 50 feet down the service elevator shaft in a notoriously expensive garage. Typically, drivers wait for a valet to bring the car down to the ground floor. However, an attendant took the boy and his parents up to the garage’s third floor, where he slipped through a 10-inch gap between the wall and the elevator.
Despite being located near neighborhood hot spots and renting parking spots for nearly $300,000 these days, records show the garage actually has a long history of poor elevator maintenance. In 2012 and 2014, city inspectors found the garage owners were aware of elevator defects and failed to fix them. The garage owner paid only $1,000 for failing to comply with the city’s code on elevator safety.
Elevators Must Be Properly Maintained to Reduce the Risk of an Elevator Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of people in the U.S. report injuries caused by elevator accidents each year. More often than not, poor maintenance is the problem and can lead to the following mechanical issues:
- Sudden stops and dramatic increases in speed
- The floor of the elevator fails to align with the building floor
- Defective controllers
- Slippery surfaces and inadequate lighting
- Defective electric eyes, which makes the doors close too quickly or fails to retract when a passenger is caught between the doors
- The elevator could become stuck between floors
In a lot of cases, building owners will neglect to perform regular inspections and fail to have repairs done. There are strict regulations governed by state building codes regarding the installation, inspection and maintenance for elevators. When building owners ignore these regulations, they put passengers at risk for slip and fall accidents, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, severe scarring or even death.
Donald G. Targan & Associates is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps victims who have sustained injuries in elevator accidents in the Atlantic City, Lower Township and Middle Township areas.