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Elevator Construction Accident

Elevator Construction Accident

Two construction workers were injured Wednesday, August 6th, 2014, in Greenwich Village when elevator cables snapped, causing the elevator to drop half a floor. The workers were part of a 12-apartment renovation at the 56 West 11th St. apartment building.

According to reports, the workers had opened up the elevator car's ceiling hatch and had pushed pipes through the hatch. When the pipes got tangled in the cables it caused the cables to snap.

Tenants of the apartment building where the malfunction took place stated that they were not surprised by the freakish elevator accident. According to them, equipment "frequently" malfunctions and traps riders. Indeed, records show that the building has had ten open elevator violations dating back to 2006. Three of those reports were issued as recently as this year, the most recent being June 6, 2014.

According to the FDNY, construction material protruding through a hatch door in the roof of the elevator became entangled with the elevator's cord and counterweight just before the elevator dropped, trapping the people between the eighth and ninth floors of the apartment building.

At the scene, the Fire Department had to secure the elevator before responders could remove the workers. After responders secured the elevator cab by tying ropes to its cables and fastening support struts, the two men were extricated to the eighth floor about an hour later. The fortunate gentlemen were taken to Bellevue hospital and treated for minor injuries, officials said.

Generally, injuries obtained on the job are covered by workers' compensation. However, in the case of an alleged malfunctioning elevator, an injured individual may also have a personal injury claim against the property owner. If the property owner were to be found liable for maintaining, or lack thereof, a malfunctioning elevator; and that malfunctioning elevator resulted in injury to the two victims, the property owner could be liable for damages including medical bills, pain & suffering, and lost wages.
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