Our client, a 79-year-old building custodian who was standing in for a regular elevator operator, obtained an elevator interlock access key from the Union office so that he could use the elevator. He testified that he thought that the elevator was parked on the main floor, but it was actually in use and on another floor. He contended that he opened the shaftway doors and stepped into the empty elevator shaft, falling 20 feet to the floor. Our client sustained multiple fractures of his right dominant wrist and arm, pelvis, multiple rib fractures and mesenteric hematomas to his abdomen and was hospitalized for four months. Mr. Greenberg contended that the maintenance company had an obligation under its contract to regularly inspect and repair its elevators and that the lack of a parking device violated ANSI regulations and NYC Administrative code. The case settled, during trial, for $700,000 for past and future pain and suffering plus a waiver for a $65,000 Worker’s Compensation lien.
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