Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty Law Blog

Friday, January 8, 2016

Elevator Crushes & Kills Man on New Year's Eve

For the second time this year, a terrible accident occurred that could only be explained by the negligence of a building's owner or elevator operator's negligence: a 25-year old man was trapped, half inside, and half outside, an elevator, and squeezed to death.

The building was 131 Broome Street, a tower of Section 8 housing, with elevators that have always had trouble. The elevators occasionally "jumped", the rooftop emergency hatches didn't open, and the tenants association president was stuck between two floors in one of the other towers associated with 131 Broome Street. The Department of Buildings had three unresolved elevator violations.

On New Year's Eve, at approximately 11:45 PM, the elevator door was open when it suddenly started to drop. Stephen Hewett-Brown heroically pushed Erudi Sanchez out of the way of the dropping elevator, saying "Happy New Year," when the elevator dropped further, trapping Mr. Hewett-Brown between the floor and the ceiling of the elevator. The head of the family, and the breadwinner for years, killed by a faulty elevator.

Elevator accidents are uncommon, but they can sometimes cause terribly and long-lasting injuries. Whether it's as minor as misleveling or as major as catching people as they enter or exit, anyone who is the victim of an elevator accident should call an experienced trial lawyer to discuss their rights or possible claims. It should be noted that courts in New York consider misleveling elevators and some other elevator accidents to be so extreme that any injury that comes from such accidents must be the elevator's fault, under the theory of res ipsa loquitur. The elevator accident attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty are available at (212) 425-0230 or at to discuss with you potential claims you may have if you are injured by an elevator.

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