Sometimes a tragic accident can focus attention on a safety issue and lead to positive change. According to the New York Post, City elevator inspectors have stepped up their efforts to ensure elevator safety since the untimely and well publicized death of an advertising executive in a December 14, 2011 elevator accident at 285 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The article reports that the City has handed out 50 percent more fines for the worst violations and has increased the number of elevator inspectors by more than 25 percent since that incident. The father of the victim was quoted as expressing delight in the City’s more aggressive approach to elevator regulation. A Buildings Department spokesman confirmed that their focus on elevator safety has indeed been intensified since the accident.
Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP is a personal injury law firm that handles cases on behalf of seriously injured victims, including those hurt or killed in elevator accidents. The firm has resolved numerous cases on behalf of those injured as a result of negligent elevator operation and maintenance, including settlements of $5,500,000, $2,000,000 and $1,900,000. The Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP clients who received those settlements would not have been hurt if the elevator companies and building owners involved had taken appropriate steps to insure the safe and regular operation of the elevators for which they were legally responsible. Taking on such businesses and contractors who fail to provide safe work places is part of the firm’s ongoing mission. In addition to providing financial security for injury victims and their families, these lawsuits send an important message to negligent defendants that they need to take safety more seriously and implement measures to reduce or eliminate future accidents. Just as the tragic elevator accident of last year has sparked positive safety efforts, the firm hopes that each of its substantial verdicts and settlements will make the City a safer place in which to work and live.