Excluding those who have a phobia about elevators, the chances are that most of the rest of us engage in the act of entering, riding in, and departing an elevator without giving it a second thought. Some people may be able to go through life without ever encountering a malfunctioning elevator. With multiple instances of elevator-related injuries occurring in the New Orleans area recently, though, it is clear that not everyone will be so fortunate. If you are injured in an elevator accident, it is important to act promptly and seek counsel from an experienced Louisiana premises liability attorney who can help you protect your interests.
One of the recent headline-making accidents was particularly unfortunate because it involved teens doing missionary work. The teens were here on behalf of their Presbyterian church located in Wahoo, Neb. and were at the home of their host family this past July when the home’s elevator crashed from the third floor all the way to the ground. All four teens suffered either leg or ankle fractures, KETV reported.
Also in July, an Orleans Parish man allegedly suffered injuries while riding in an elevator at an office building in New Orleans. The man, according to his lawsuit, was taking the elevator from the fifth floor to the fourth when the elevator malfunctioned, unexpectedly dropping twice and eventually stopping down at the second floor. The man’s negligence lawsuit stated that the pair of drops caused him to suffer physical and emotional injuries, according to a Louisiana Record report.
Elevator accidents can be serious matters that inflict substantial damages. Last year, the Louisiana Court of Appeal ruled in an elevator injury case, upholding the vast majority of damages awarded to three women injured after a New Orleans Saints game at the Louisiana Superdome. In that circumstance, an elevator with more than 15 passengers suddenly dropped from the fifth floor to the ground floor.
The three plaintiffs, Jocelyn, Kizzy, and Keela, pursued their case as a bench trial, meaning there was no jury. The trial judge awarded Jocelyn more than $870,000, Keela more than $300,000, and Kizzy more than $770,000.
In an elevator accident case, one of the many important issues you’ll have to address is deciding whom to sue. In the case of these women at the Superdome, they sued multiple defendants, including the company responsible for day-to-day operations at the Superdome. This company was liable in this case because the women’s case established that the elevator fell due to overcrowding, that overcrowding of elevators at Superdome events was a known problem, and that, in spite of this known problem, the company still failed to have sufficient security workers at the game to ensure that attendees did not overcrowd the elevators.
Another aspect of your elevator injury case (or almost any injury case) may be the defense’s efforts to depict the injured person as at fault in the accident. In the Superdome case, the defendant argued unsuccessfully that the women were at fault for remaining in and riding aboard an obviously overcrowded elevator. However, the evidence showed that they were among the first people aboard the elevator. Holding guests liable for not exiting an elevator they safely entered just because others overcrowded it “would be both unreasonable and impractical,” the court stated.
While the plaintiffs successfully overcame this effort to hold them to be at fault, it nevertheless points to the importance of having strong evidence, not only of your injuries and a defendant’s liability but also of your lack of fault.
As the Superdome case and the other recent incidents show, elevator accidents can inflict major harm upon an injured passenger. If you get hurt aboard a malfunctioning elevator, don’t delay. Contact skilled injury counsel right away. The hardworking Louisiana premises liability attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have spent many years working to advance the needs and interests of injured people and are here to discuss your case with you.
For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Mall of Louisiana Patron Unable to Hold Department Store Liable for Injuries in Slip-and-Fall Accident, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Oct. 15, 2015
The Anatomy of a Trip and Fall Case, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 6, 2014