Elevators and escalators are complex and dynamic machinery. Every day, millions of people use elevators and escalators to get to their office, home or to navigate many buildings, airports, train stations and department stores with multiple floors. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has estimated that as of 2010 there were approximately 12,463 escalator accidents requiring hospitalization and 11,201 elevator accidents requiring hospitalization in the United States.
Elevator and escalators require routine and regular maintenance for safe operation. Because they are often on property that is controlled by either a landowner, or a managing entity, the law imposes certain duties upon the owner. Landowners, or their managing, entities may not conduct the most thorough investigations following an incident or accident out of self-serving reasons and concerns over liability. Routine maintenance may or may not play a factor in explaining an accident or event involving an elevator or escalator.
In Florida, only qualified and trained personnel are expected to maintain or service elevators and escalators. However, this legal duty is one often ignored or circumvented by cost conscious owners or managing entities that believe they can handle or save this cost through “in-house” maintenance.
Accidents involving elevators and escalators often result in serious or permanent injuries. Yet, these accidents do not necessarily get the attention or scrutiny they warrant as touched on above. Another undercurrent in these events is the fact that many owners employee a third party to service or maintain the elevators or escalators. This can potentially place the interests of the owner and such parties at odds over costs. Regardless, in Florida, violation of established laws and rules relating to elevators and escalator can be used as evidence of negligence or even negligence per se (*).
Farmer Jaffe Weissing attorneys have significant experience in the investigation of elevator and escalator accidents. This experience, and access to nationally known experts, allows us to focus our investigation into any event without the self-serving concerns of a property owner.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an elevator or escalator accident, due to a defective product or poor maintenance, or due to the negligence of an employer or third-part, you may have the right to pursue a civil law suit. Please contact us with any questions or a free evaluation of your elevator or escalator accident.