Manhattan’s Borough President Scott Stringer has done a study showing that public housing has a poor record of passing elevator inspections. Elevator malfunctions are a regular occurrence in New York City Housing Authority buildings. The New York Times stories of September 26 and 27, 2008, are here and here.
Arlene Williams, an NYCHA tenant testified that she was injured when she fell down stairs in April. She took the stairs because the elevator was out of order. This is a common complaint that we have heard from our clients who have been injured on staircase falls in NYCHA buildings.
In fiscal 2008 NYCHA has had an incredible 43,762 failures regarding its 3,337 elevators.
Here are some things that you can do to prevent an elevator accident:
- Report a problem to your building and “311.” The building management should be told of the problem so that there is a record showing that it was placed on notice. This is necessary for a lawsuit. I would recommend a call to the City’s 311 number for NYCHA tenants as well as tenants with regular elevator malfunctions. A 311 complaint will result in a Building Department complaint.
- Be careful on either either entering or leaving an elevator. The typical elevator accident is a tripping incident where the elevator mislevels with the floor.
- If you must take the stairs, be careful. Many of our clients have had falls on the stairs when the elevator was not working. Be careful on the stairs which may have litter and foreign substances. Be sure to use the handrails.
If you have had an elevator accident, please feel free to call us at 800-581-1434.
Mark E. Seitelman, 9/27/08, www.seitelman.com.