Elevator Injuries Can Be Serious and Long Lasting

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Legal

Latest Articles



We use them all the time without even thinking about how they operate, the heavy machinery that is involved, or the fact that we are basically riding in a small box going up or down a very long, and potentially dangerous, chute. Elevators make our lives much easier, but when something goes wrong, they put us at risk for personal injury as was discovered recently in Philadelphia County Court.

Two Tinicum police officers were recently awarded a $4 million settlement for injuries they sustained after falling down an open elevator shaft at the Sand Castle Winery while investigating a burglary suspicion. The injuries have rendered them permanently disabled and have left them unable to continue their police work. A lawyer for the two officers argued in Philadelphia County Court that the winery owner was at fault for bypassing safety devices that allowed the elevator to be operated while the doors were open and the equipment company that installed the elevator was negligent in showing the owner the way to bypass those safety mechanisms.

The unfortunate injuries to these two police officers serve as a reminder that elevators and elevator shafts can be very dangerous, indeed, especially if safety procedures are not properly followed or if safety mechanisms are bypassed by property owners or by technicians installing the elevator. Elevators that have not recently been inspected can pose other serious dangers, as can elevators that have not been properly calibrated to ensure that the bottom of the car aligns precisely with the floor of the exit.

Though the injuries to the two cops were life changing, they were, thankfully, not life-ending. The accident could have been so much more tragic than it actually was. Each year, approximately 27 people die in the United States as the result of an elevator accident. In addition, there are roughly 10,000 people who suffer an elevator related injury each year. The truly sad part of these statistics is that almost all of these injuries and deaths could have been avoided as they are most often the result of door malfunctions and floor misalignments. Those injured because of the negligence of property owners or, as in the case of the Tinicum officers, the outright intentional reckless abandonment of safety procedures, deserve to be compensated.

If you or someone you care about has an injury as the result of an elevator related accident or because of some other negligence of a property owner, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in the Philadelphia area to determine if you have a viable case. You should not have to continue to suffer because someone else was negligent or reckless.