In the early morning hours of Friday, the only elevator in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment building malfunctioned killing one man and traumatizing four of his friends.
Eran Modan, 37, and four friends stepped into the elevator, when suddenly everything went wrong. The doors remained open but the elevator suddenly plummeted to the basement. One of the friends said they were all scared but only Eran decided to get off the elevator. The floor of the basement was almost level with the cab but as he stepped off the elevator it suddenly lurched back into motion and shot back up towards the lobby.
“…he tried to jump out and was caught in between two floors,” said one of the friends who watched him die. “His body was squashed.”
The elevator in the seven-year-old building has been tagged with four violations since 2013 and had drawn three complaints for being unsafe or unreliable in 2012, according to records from the New York City Buildings Department. All violations had been resolved.
Residents of the building said that the elevator was known to be unpredictable and had frequently reported it as unsafe. Several residents reported getting stuck regularly in the elevator. They reported sudden jerking, wobbling, doors closing and not opening back up, and that the cab frequently became unresponsive.
After conducting a load testing procedure, the Buildings Department commissioner, Rick D. Chandler, said “We see no outstanding problems with the elevator at this time.”
A city official, who will remain anonymous until the investigation is concluded, speculated that the elevator brake was not able to hold the capacity load, causing the cab to fall.
“We’ve never had any problem with the elevator.” Said Jacob Katz, the building’s property manager, an employee of Goose Property Management. When asked about the complaints, he said: “I wouldn’t consider that anything happened. Maybe someone felt some shaking or heard some noise and they called the Buildings Department”. He added: “It hurts us very badly that this happened, but sometimes things happen that you cannot control. It comes from God. It comes from someplace.”
A full load inspection test was performed on the elevator in 2013, as well as several other routine inspections completed as recently as July were conducted by P&W Elevators. The company representative declined to comment.
The circumstances around this tragic turn of events are not entirely uncommon in New York. In cases like these, it is important for the family to seek legal advice. With the help of a New York Personal Injury Attorney, a representative of the survivors who suffer damages from the decedent’s death can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These representatives are called Real Parties in Interest and are those who suffer from the loss – both emotionally and financially. Real Parties in Interest can also be the executor of the decedent’s estate.
The favorable results in a settlement or verdict can depend greatly on the circumstances behind the decedent’s death. If you are a “Real Party in Interest” and wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is imperative to obtain legal representation. New York Personal Injury Attorneys Pulvers Thompson Personal Injury Lawyers can help protect your rights, help you build a strong case, compile evidence that will demonstrate fault or negligence, and fight for fair compensation for your loss.