Elevator and Escalator Accidents
New York City and its residents rely each day on the use of elevators and escalators; they are used in homes, offices, schools, shopping centers and government buildings to name but a few. There are even construction elevators in use on many job sites and mining tunnels.
In the United States there is an estimated 35,000 escalator and 900,000 elevators serving approximately 12,000 and 20,000 people respectively on a daily basis, it is no small wonder that these modern day inventions are plays such an important part of our lives.
Unfortunately, with these modern marvels, there are also many catastrophic accidents and injuries as well.
Elevators and escalators kill approximately 27 to 30 people annually, with injuries ranging in the high 17,000 nationwide according to research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Elevators like any other type of mechanical equipment are prone to defects and malfunctions, many of which can be hazardous often times deadly to its riders. They include:
- Pulley system malfunctions or there is mechanical failure, which causes the elevator to ‘fall’
- Open shafts or the door fails to open or close properly
- Faulty electrical wiring, risk of electrocution, elevator controls malfunction
- Maintenance failure, incomplete repairs or inspections by unqualified technicians
- Elevator not level to floors resulting in failure to line up when stopping
Escalators on the other hand, while they are a convenient mode of getting from point A to point B quickly, they can also cause severe injuries, sometimes death if they are faulty or is they were poorly maintained. Defects related to escalators:
- Missing teeth on the escalator track
- Missing or loose screws
- Excessive space between the escalator sides and the moving steps
- General malfunction and poor maintenance.
Typical accidents resulting from escalators malfunction include:
- Finger entrapment, especially with small children
- Entrapment between steps
- Personal effects, like hair, clothing, shoe laces becoming entangled in the escalator
- Slip and fall accidents, especially among the elderly users
Both City & State regulation dictates that annual public inspection must be carried out on both elevator and escalator to ensure public safety. While this is diligently being done, it is important to note that the CPSC is not sanctioned to standardize either machinery, which means that neither elevator nor escalator parts are subjected to federal inspections nor part recalls. Without this requirement, especially if a defect arises, there is usually no public awareness of it as nothing is ever printed.
Elevator and escalator owners have a legal responsibility to properly maintain the equipment via regular inspection and servicing. Property owners, inspection companies, maintenance and service companies, and especially the equipment manufacturers can be held liable for any elevator or escalator accidents in the state of New York that results in severe injury or fatality of a rider.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, please contact an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Igor Tarasov Esq., to discuss your legal rights and options. We can assist you in answering all pertinent questions so that you can make an informed and responsible decision.
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