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Tragic Elevator Accident in Flushing, Queens

The New York lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are following a very sad story that is hitting the news this morning. A man died after falling down a broken elevator shaft in the Flushing section of Queens.

An unidentified man was killed yesterday after falling down the elevator shaft of a broken elevator at 90 Frame Place in Flushing, Queens. The man was bringing something downstairs and tried to use the elevator. He waited for the elevator to arrive and when the doors open, he began to step in. When he entered what he thought was the elevator, the elevator was not there. Instead he stepped into an empty shaft. He plummeted, crashing hard against the unforgiving top of the elevator which was sitting at least one floor below where he entered. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation is ongoing.

Early reports demonstrate that this elevator has had a history of problems with the Department of Buildings issuing a litany of recent violations. Most of the violations were cleared by the time of the accident, but one remains open. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim in this tragedy. This is a senseless loss. How does one make sense of how this happened?

Open elevator shafts are obviously a very serious hazard in a residential or private building. The dangers are clearly exacerbated when there is no warnings that the shaft is open. It can lead to serious injury or death. Elevator shaft accidents are usually the result of equipment defects, frequently due to poor maintenance. Equipment defects can also lead to an accident if a shoddy inspection reports that a dangerous elevator is safe.

Regular inspections of elevators are required under the law and are necessary to make sure the elevators continue to function properly. If a shaft is open for any reason, all entry points must be clearly marked and outlined to avoid a person stepping into the open shaft. In this case, the investigation will most certainly cite the building for failing to safeguard, mark and outline the open shaft. The cause of the elevator not going up to the fourth floor will also be scrutinized. Was it malfunctioning? Was there maintenance being performed on the elevator? Had it been presenting with problems recently? All of these possibilities have one thing in common: the victim remains blameless. There will be a time for accountability. Nowis a time for the family and friends of this victim to mourn the loss of their loved one.

It is also a time for New York to realize that elevator safety is critical. We must strive to do better, making sure that inspectors are qualified, elevator maintenance and repair company personnel are well trained and everyone recognizes the perils presented by elevators.

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a long and proud tradition of representing victims throughout the state in serious elevator accidents. The firm has recovered more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients. Among them are $5,500,000, $4,000,000, $2,250,000,$2,000,000 and$1,900,000 recoveries for elevator accident victims. You can learn more about the firm by reviewing their website at You may also call them for a free consultation at 212-736-5300.

Source: NY Post