The Daily News is reporting that a Harlem woman fell 12 feet down an elevator shaft yesterday. This is another tragic example of a phantomelevator door opening, potentially causing catastrophic injury. The article states that the woman lived in public housing owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority. The City Council recently demanded that the city fix what has become a recurring problem.
We have handled cases like this for years. This is a classic example of the law on property owner liability. Here, a dangerous condition exists that could have been caused by many things. The key will be to show that the owner/manager of the property knew or should have known about the problem. If it can be proven, among other things, that repairs were not made, or proper inspections were note done then there could be a viable lawsuit. As always, with a city agency like the Housing Authority, a potential claimant is required to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident.