An elevator accident can be a catastrophic event for both passengers and laborers. Whether you were injured while working on or riding in an elevator, it is crucial that you understand your rights. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it is important if you are injured in an elevator accident in New York City that you speak with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Understanding Elevator Accident Liability
Section 241-a of the Labor Law of New York State imposes absolute liability upon building owners and general contractors for injuries suffered by laborers working in construction or demolition in or at elevator shaftways, hatchways and stairwells of buildings where sound planking at least two inches thick laid across the opening at levels not more than two stories above and not more than one story below such persons, has not been placed. Building owners and general contractors are liable for its violation even though the work is being performed by an independent contractor because the statute imposes a non-delegable duty. Labor Law §241-a is meant to protect workers either from falling through the shaft for more than one story or from being hit from above by falling debris or other materials. It imposes liability upon owners and general contractors to protect workers actually installing an elevator. Workers injured in elevator shaftways can also sue for violations of Labor Law §241-a and §240(1), New York’s Scaffold Law. Both of these elevator accident laws impose absolute liability, meaning that the building owner or general contractor cannot avoid liability if the worker was also negligent.
New York’s Labor Law contains other provisions relating directly to elevator safety. Labor Law §255 provides that every elevator used in connection with a factory, the elevator opening and the machinery connected therewith, and every hoistway, hatchway and well-hole shall be so constructed, guarded, equipped, maintained and operated as to be safe for all persons. Labor Law §316 imposes duties upon the person operating a factory, whether as owner or lessee of the whole or a part of the building in which the same is situated or otherwise, and applies Labor Law §255 to the owner of a tenant-factory building, whether or not he is also one of the occupants.
Learn More about Elevator Accident Litigation
Whether you were injured while an elevator was being installed or demolished or when riding in an elevator that dropped suddenly or misleveled, Levine & Slavit, PLLC may be able to obtain a recovery to help with your bills and pain and suffering. No one should have to suffer the consequences of an elevator accident in New York City, but if you have been involved in such an accident, contact our lawyers to schedule a free consultation.