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Frightening elevator ride leads to $13 million award

Anyone in Batavia who steps into an elevator expects that it is going to work properly. With the exception of the severely claustrophobic, not many people are afraid that an elevator will be the site of a major accident. Unfortunately, elevator accidents are quite common and it is possible that anyone in southern Ohio who rides an elevator could become injured.

While injuries from an elevator accident can cause severe pain and suffering, disfigurement or disabling medical conditions, there is often compensation available in a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability allows injured people to hold property owners liable for dangerous or unsafe conditions on their property. They also remind them that it is their responsibility to ensure their properties are safe to those accessing them.

In this story, a woman was seriously injured when the elevator she was in fell several times between the 23rd floor and the basement. Her left leg was partially paralyzed following the accident and she developed pseudo seizures, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. For years following the 1999 accident, the woman was forced to use a wheelchair.

Finally, after 13 years and a two-week trial, the woman was awarded $13 million for her injuries. The building's owner and the elevator repair company that maintained the elevator were both held responsible.

In a strange twist of events, the woman may not have been as injured if the elevator company had taken her out of the elevator after she fell the first time. Instead, they left her in for the remaining series of falls.

Source: The South Florida Sun Sentinel, "Elevator fall nets woman $13 million jury award," Robert Nolin, Sept. 7, 2012

If you want to learn about what the rights and responsibilities property owners have to visitors, please visit our Cincinnati premises liability page.

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