Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Elevator and escalators are used in apartment buildings, shopping malls, office buildings, etc. People take it for granted that the elevator or escalator will operate properly. These cares are complicated as there are special laws that are detailed and voluminous. Elevator laws and codes govern the establishing, inspection and maintenance of elevators. In New York there are local laws which govern elevator installation, inspection and maintenance. Experts with special training and knowledge are needed to understand the application and determine whether a violation has occurred which caused the elevator accident.
Elevator and escalator installations are now complex machinery involving a number of engineering disciplines. If an electric elevator is involved ANSI/ASME Standards are used.
In larger buildings, the company that maintains and services the elevator/escalator has a contract with the owner and managing agent for the building to make sure elevators are maintained in a safe condition. Many elevator accidents occur due to a failure to properly maintain and service the elevators by the on site elevator company. For buildings without an on site elevator company, laws were enacted to make sure the building owner utilizes properly trained professionals to inspect, maintain and service the elevators on a regular basis and failing to do so, is negligence.
Type of accidents on elevators include trips on a misstep from the misleveling of an elevator, door entrapment, car entrapment, sudden acceleration/deceleration, defective governors, improper hoist cables, maintenance communication failures and safety device failures.
Escalators are used inside department stores, subways, train stations, etc. The majority of escalator accidents are caused by improper servicing or installation of the escalator equipment which could be detected by proper inspection, servicing and maintenance. The company that services, maintains and inspects the escalator has a duty to ensure that the escalator is working properly and free from conditions that pose a hazard to persons using the escalator. These maintenance companies can be held liable for injuries resulting from its negligence in inspecting, maintaining and servicing the escalator. If the owner of the elevator/escalator fails to have them maintained and serviced regularly, they can be held liable for injuries or death to the person using the elevator/escalator.
If you or a family member has been hurt by an elevator or escalator, call Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC.