Getting a Recovery for Personal Injuries from New York City Housing for Defective Elevators


The New York Times has been investigating the epidemic of elevator breakdowns in New York City Housing Authority projects.  See its latest story,  “Beyond the Elevator Doors:  The Great Unknown”, November 16, 2008.  

The Times has exposed the deplorable conditions of the housing projects elevators where many tenants take a chance in taking an elevator which may or may not work.  See our prior posts, “Preventing Elevator Accidents–Things that You Can Do” and “Many NYCHA Elevator Staff Moonlight for Private Companies”.

We applaud The Times for the best of crusading journalism.  New Yorkers will have a greater appreciation what project tenants live with on a daily basis.

Furthermore, just thinking aloud, it may be a bit easier to prove that the NYCHA knew (i.e., had constructive notice) of a particular elevator problem in a particular case.  In other words, based on The Times‘s reporting, it appears to be a rare NYCHA without a prior history of problems.

Also, again thinking aloud, where an injured client must use a dirty and dangerous staircase rather than a malfunctioning elevator, we may be able to prove liability against NYCHA.  In these cases the tenant had to use the stairs, and he falls on a foreign substance, such as beer or urine or food trash.  In other words, by denying the tenant a safe way to get to and from his apartment, the tenant had to use a littered stairway which was an obstacle course.  By reason of denying the tenant a safe elevator, the client had to resort to a dangerous staircase.

We have handled many cases against NYCHA.  If you have been injured by a defective NYCHA elevator or any other dangerous condition in the projects, then please call me to discuss your accident.

Mark E. Seitelman, 11/18/08, letters@seitelman.com, www.seitelman.com.

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