Thousands of people throughout the state of New York live in apartment buildings for both financial reasons and convenience in terms of property management. Landlords have a duty to provide safe property conditions for their tenants and guests. Tenants rely on property owners to maintain a reasonably safe living environment. When a landlord or property manager fails to address safety concerns or properly notify tenants of dangerous conditions, they could be held liable under premises liability.
A 37-year-old locksmith was visiting friends at a Brooklyn luxury apartment building when he was killed in an elevator accident. The man entered the elevator with four friends. The door stayed open and plunged to the basement. The man attempted to step out of the elevator, but when he was halfway out, the elevator jolted back up towards the lobby. The man was tragically crushed between the elevator and basement ceiling and elevator shaft.
The building only has one elevator, which since 2013 has been hit with four violations. All of the violations have been resolved. The New York City Buildings Department also reports that there were three complaints about the elevator being unsafe in 2012.
The Buildings Department commissioner stated that there are currently no problems with the elevator. However, he believes that the elevator may have been carrying too much weight. A city official said that inspectors determined that "the device brake was unable to hold the capacity load." The property manager denies ever having a problem with the elevator.
While fatal elevator accidents are uncommon, they do happen on occasion in New York buildings. Tragedies like this can be extremely hard to deal with. By filing lawsuits against property owners, victims and their families may at least be able to recover damages for injuries suffered.
Source: The New York Times, "Man Visiting Brooklyn Apartment Building Dies in Elevator Accident," Benjamin Mueller, Oct. 2, 2015