Governor Andrew Cuomo has a chance to pass a bill that could greatly improve, even save, the lives of many New York City residents. The bill, known as the “Elevator Safety Act”, would require mechanics and others who provide maintenance for elevators in the city to be licensed by the state, in addition to going through extensive education and training, according to this New York Post article. Additionally, it would require the creation of an Elevator Safety and Standards Board. Each of the nine members on the board would be appointed by the governor and New York State legislation.
More than 30 other states already have similar laws in place, and it seems ridiculous that in New York City, a place with over 84,000 elevators, there is a lack of decent elevator maintenance regulation. This legislation has been around for nine years, but was given renewed attention this year when a 30-year-old man was tragically crushed to death in an elevator accident in his Kips Bay apartment building. The investigation into that accident is ongoing, but the family of the deceased is preparing to file a wrongful death suit, since there is evidence that a safety device in the elevator had been tampered with. The Elevator Safety Act has now passed in both the New York State Senate and Assembly, meaning that it only needs Gov. Cuomo’s signature to be signed into law.
The bill was delivered to Gov. Cuomo’s desk on Dec. 20, 2019, and he has until the end of the year to sign-or refuse to sign-it. The delay is attributed to some minor issues and questions Cuomo has about the bill. One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Diane Savino (D-SI), said that she is confident they will be able to work through these issues to get the bill signed into law. The bill is also supported by the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 1. The Union’s business manager, Lenny Legotte, doesn’t want to waste any time in getting this bill signed into law. He said, “Every day that we delay enacting the Elevator Safety Act is another day that people’s lives are put in danger. How many New Yorkers have to die in preventable accidents before we take action?”
If you have experienced the unexpected pain of an elevator accident, you are not alone. According to a 2018 report by The Center for Construction Research and Training, elevator- or escalator-related injuries among members of the public increased by more than 30 percent between 2007 and 2017. The Elevator Safety Act, with just a few simple measures, could prevent many needless deaths by ensuring all elevators are properly maintained and safe for use.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an elevator accident, we are here to help. The elevator accident attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have experience with cases like these and can assist you in exploring your legal options. Fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation legal consultation, or call 212-736-5300. Notable case results include:
- $7,200,000 settlement for the family of a 25-year-old Brooklyn man who was killed after falling down an elevator shaft
- $5,500,000 settlement for a truck driver who sustained serious spinal injuries after he was struck by the closing door of a freight elevator
- $2,250,000 recovery for the spouse of an elevator maintainer who was killed when his head was crushed in an elevator accident
- $1,900,000 settlement for a union maintenance worker who was injured when the elevator he was riding in suddenly rapidly fell before coming to an abrupt stop