A mechanic lost his life in an elevator accident that was situated inside a luxury apartment building, owned and administered by the Brodsky Organization property management company, on the Upper West Side last Friday.
For reasons that have not yet been revealed, the elevator repairman, who was only 30 years old, became pinned between two lifts at about 11:20 a.m.
The worker was employed by a contracting company called PS Marcato Elevator Co., which is based in Queens. He was undertaking upgrade work on the elevator with another employee when the accident happened. The second worker was not injured as he was not in the lift shaft at the time.
Roger Sakowich, the New York Fire Department’s Deputy Chief, reported that when the repairman was in the elevator there was some movement, causing the worker to be crushed by the moving elevator between the basement and first floor. There were no passengers in the elevator at the time.
The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a statement which revealed that since April last year the building has received three notices related to open elevator violations as the company has failed in its duty to maintain service equipment up to the expected standard. The death of the worker is now being investigated by the DOB.
It appears that even luxury apartment blocks suffer from poor maintenance, despite the consistent flow of money. However, in this situation, the death of the elevator mechanic occurred during maintenance so something went wrong when the man was in the lift shaft.
For a long time, elevator mechanics did not need any specific formal training or qualifications to undertake maintenance work. This changed not long after the 2011 death of advertising executive Suzanne Hart, which led to a review of the city’s regulations, and changes came into force in 2013 insisting that elevator mechanics became certified only after passing a recognized course of study.
Just after Suzanne Hart’s death there was a similar freight elevator incident in the same building, 711 Amsterdam Ave. This was being maintained by PS Marcato, which took over elevator maintenance for the property from Transel Elevator Inc. A man was left with serious injuries when he was sent down the shaft to retrieve a piece of stray wood. The elevator moved and fell on the man because of a faulty device called a “drum and cable switch,” which is designed to retrieve slack cable so that the elevator would not move.
The family of the young man who died last week will be seeking answers as to how in this day and age an elevator could possibly fall on a worker with all the checks and balances available to stop such accidents. They may even be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity which is found to have caused the accident. The man will, quite likely, have been contributing financially to his family so they will have lost a breadwinner and his companionship, both of which are valued in monetary terms in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you have been injured or a member of your family has been killed in an accident in New York or Long Island and it was someone else’s fault, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney such as Richard S. Jaffe Esq., who has many years of experiences settling lawsuits and personal injury claims.
You can contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.