Many people are nervous riding elevators, and some even laugh at their fear because it seems irrational. However, for residents of a New York apartment building, those fears were recently realized in a tragic manner when an infant and her mother fell into an open elevator shaft. The family and neighbors are now grieving the wrongful death of the 6-week old child.
The tenants of the building had been complaining about the elevators for many months. In fact, the privately owned building has 50 building code violations on record, and four of them are related to the elevators. The city has also taken over 20 complaints about the building's elevators being out of service since the beginning of the previous year. Many of the building's tenants rely on elevators because they are elderly or wheelchair bound.
Just 90 minutes after an elevator repairman began work on the elevator, a 21-year-old woman who lived on the 23rd floor pushed her baby in a stroller to the elevator. However, when the doors opened, the elevator car was inexplicably six to eight feet below the opening. The stroller dropped into the shaft and landed on the roof of the car. The mother fell on top of the stroller. New York rescue workers were unable to revive the child, and many were devastated by the scene.
Undoubtedly, the parents of the baby understand that money will not bring back their beloved daughter. However, most parents want someone to be held responsible for the wrongful death of their child. Their attorney will investigate the incident thoroughly to determine where the responsibility lies. Although compensation may not ease the grief, it may ease some of the financial burden the family may have incurred from the accident.
Source: New York Daily News, "Brooklyn building where baby fell to death has 50 open violations", Kerry Burke, Thomas Tracy & Greg B. Smith, Oct. 14, 2016