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Fatal Elevator Accident on Lower East Side Raises Questions

elevator-buttons-248639_1920.jpgA Bronx man died when he was crushed to death by a malfunctioning elevator in Manhattan. He was crushed when he became pinned between the car and the third floor of a Broome Street building.

The elevator was full of New Year's Eve partygoers when it began to free-fall and then stopped, pinning the man as he tried to push a resident to safety. People trapped in the elevator said that it took emergency personnel at least 20 minutes to arrive, by which time the victim had become silent. However, FDNY personnel reported that it took slightly more than four minutes to arrive at the scene.

Other passengers tried to pull the man back into the elevator car but were unable to do so. The man was pronounced dead around 12:30 AM after being taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in lower Manhattan.

Who is to blame for this tragic elevator accident, which occurred while the victim's visibly pregnant girlfriend looked on? Seven complaints about the elevator in the building, which is part of a federal affordable housing project, were filed in 2015, according to NYC Department of Buildings report. Since 2009, 36 complaints about the elevator have been filed.

The Department of Buildings will investigate. It is possible that despite the many complaints, the elevator was poorly maintained? Additionally, the medical examiner will try to determine the precise cause of death. Did the victim bleed out? Was his airway crushed? These are questions that are difficult to think about, but they will need to be answered in order to determine exactly what happened. The answers could show whether it would be possible to file a premises liability claim.