Who doesn’t have at least a slight fear of an elevator fall anytime one enters an elevator in a high rise premises? Fortunately, this plaintiff lived to tell her story and the jury awarded her $13 million for her multiple physical and mental injuries. The verdict was entered against the building premises manager and and Schindler Elevator Corporation, the building’s on-site elevator maintenance firm.
The plaintiff was injured in a highrise when she experienced a series of falls in the elevator between the 23rd floor and the basement. Plaintiff had placed a call on the elevator intercom indicating that the elevator was acting erratically. Rather than take the plaintiff off the elevator and then repair the malfunction. The maintenance operator sent her to the basement causing a series of violent falls on the way down. It was shown at trial that Schindler grossly mishandled the malfunction and failed to consider Plaintiff’s safety as a priority. Plaintiff suffered post traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, partial paralysis of left leg, pseudo seizures and was wheel chair bound for several years.
According to the website of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois, the only chance of surviving a fall is to lie spread-eagled on the floor. That will distribute the force of impact across a wider area, which may cause internal injures but lessen the chance of breaking bones.
Remember elevator accidents are rare and elevator falls rarer. You are most likely to get injured by the elevator door so just be alert when entering and exiting. Remember, it is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years!