Elevator Accidents

Philadelpha Construction & Workplace Injury Attorneys

Elevator accidents in the workplace carry a high risk of severe injury, disability, amputation, and wrongful death. The high volume of traffic in elevators results in approximately 27 deaths and more than 10,000 injuries annually, with a significant number of those cases involving amputations. Notably, about half of these fatalities involve individuals working on or near elevators, highlighting the specific risk to workers.

In some cases, elevator injuries can easily be prevented with proper maintenance and safety protocols in place. Neglect should never be an excuse for catastrophic workplace injury and impairment. McEldrew Purtell is committed to advocating for victims of catastrophic injury accidents and ensuring comprehensive compensation for their suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.

Elevator Accident Causes

Elevator accidents stem from a range of malfunctions and failures, including:

  • Door and mechanical malfunctions leading to entrapment or falls
  • Elevator drops due to mechanical failures
  • Misalignments and electrical issues causing accidents
  • Wiring malfunctions
  • Unbalanced leveling
  • Improper training and/or lack of adherence to safety protocols
  • Incomplete repairs or maintenance
  • Faulty wiring or open shafts
  • Mechanical breakdowns or pulley system malfunctions
  • Product malfunctions
  • Manufacturer defects
  • Human error and neglect

Recognizing Your Legal Rights

If you, a family member, or a client are the victim of a catastrophic elevator accident, contact our Construction & Workplace Team to discuss the case. Our team of experts can help provide guidance, representation, or collaboration to ensure the max compensation for the victim. 

Legal Recourse for Elevator Accidents

Determining fault and liability for an elevator accident often involves a complex investigation and the need for various expert opinions. In an elevator accident case, particularly those that occur in the workplace, a combination of people and entities—including manufacturers, property owners, maintenance companies, and individual operators or supervisors—may be held liable for damages. The context of how the accident occurred can also affect the nature of the claim. For example, if the victim was working on an elevator repair when the accident occurred and was not properly trained, resulting in on-the-job injuries, the employer, contractor, sub-contractor, supervisor, or third-party trainee may also be held liable for any injuries and damages.

Elevator Accident Settlements

  • $20 million—Lennox Hinckson (2022): Hinckson's family won a $20 million wrongful death settlement against Holcim (U.S.) Inc. for not ensuring a safe workplace. Hinckson was working on an elevator when he fell 60 feet and died from his injuries.
  • $7.7 million—Lazaro Mendez (2022): Mendez won a $7.7 settlement against Oracle Elevator Co. for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of the capacity to earn money, pain, and suffering.
  • $2.75 million—Robert Ross (2018): Ross won $2.75 million when he suffered an arm injury after a heavy gate in the construction elevator unexpectedly slammed down on his arm. The elevator was not being operated by an Elevator Operator’s Union member at the time.
  • $10.6 million—Richard Tufaro (2014): Tufaro, a Union Master Carpenter, won a $10.6 million settlement for permanent spinal injuries incurred at work. He was inside a malfunctioning elevator that fell two stories.

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Choosing the Right Representation

At McEldrew Purtell, we understand the challenges you face in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases and recognize the importance of having a trusted team of trial attorneys by your side. With over 30 years of experience and billions of dollars recovered for victims, our attorneys are equipped to relentlessly fight for our clients, providing unwavering support. We listen and tailor our legal strategies to address your individual needs, ensuring the compensation you deserve, even in the most complex cases.