Otis Elevator sued over worker's fall three stories down shaft

By Elizabeth Young | Feb 26, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans man is suing an elevator manufacturer and the company responsible for maintaining an elevator installed at his place of employment after he fell three stories down the elevator shaft.

Marc Goldman filed suit against American Crescent Elevator Corporation and Otis Elevator Company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. The defendant was working at French Antique Shop Inc. in the French Quarter, when he used the elevator to go to the third floor to price check furniture, the suit says. He intended to use the elevator to return to the first floor and assumed the elevator had arrived when the doors opened, however, the elevator was not present when Goldman stepped into the shaft and as a result he fell down all three stories.

American Crescent Elevator Corporation was responsible for maintenance of the elevator which is believed to have been manufactured by Otis Elevator Company more than 100 years ago. The suit claims that the elevator lacked a proper fail-safe mechanism as required by building and elevator safety standards.

Goldman suffered a broken back, broken ribs, a broken wrist, broken arm, as well as injuries to his neck, a brain injury and psychological trauma.

The defendant is accused of failing to properly maintain the elevator that caused the fall,  failing to warn the plaintiff of the hazards created by elevator operation, possessing a defective elevator with created and unreasonable risk of harm, of having actual and/or constructive notice of the defective elevator which created unreasonable risk of harm, failing to warn individuals of defective elevator and failing to adhere to applicable codes or standards for buildings and/or elevators.

An unspecified amount of damages is sought for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, lost earnings and loss of earning capacity.

The plaintiff  is represented by Maury A. Herman of New Orleans-based Herman, Herman & Katz LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Paula A. Brown.

Case No. 2012-10843.

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