Severely injured woman succeeds with lawsuit after elevator fall

September 19th, 2012 - by DKRPA

It is not uncommon for civil lawsuits pertaining to personal injury or premises liability to take many years. There can be a backlog in court cases that bumps your case back many months; there can be complications with the evidence or with court proceedings that delay the case even further; and even when a ruling is finally made, there can be appeals that take more months to fully flesh out. This can be discouraging and it may sound like it really isn’t worth it to file such a lawsuit.

But really, this is just something to take note of if you are considering legal action. Temper your expectations about how quickly things will proceed. Sometimes even the most straightforward case just takes a little more time than it should because of mitigating factors. If you take this to heart, your patience can be greatly rewarded at the conclusion of such a lawsuit. One Florida woman waited 13 long years to earn justice after a traumatic elevator fall.

The woman was in an elevator in 1999 when it began to malfunction. With the elevator hanging around the 23rd floor, the building’s elevator mechanic decided that the best chance at fixing the issue was to lower the elevator to the basement and then work on it.

Well, he did that — and left the woman in the elevator, which promptly broke down and fell to the basement. She was seriously injured, requiring a wheelchair for many years after the incident. She still does not have full use of her left leg, and it is unknown if she ever will. In addition, she has suffered a variety of mental conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder and depression because of the traumatic fall.

After suing the on-site elevator maintenance company in 2002, it wasn’t until recently that the woman won a $13 million verdict for her ordeal.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Elevator fall nets woman $13 million jury award,” Robert Nolin, Sept. 7, 2012

There are a number of ways unsuspecting Floridians can suffer when they are on someone else’s premises — elevator accidents, poorly-lit areas and unstable footing are common causes of injury. To learn more about these topics, please visit our South Florida liability page.