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Premises liability: Infant plunges down elevator shaft

Thousands of people in Connecticut and other states live in apartment complexes, and elevators have become such a part of their lives that many don't even stop to question the safety of these modes of transport. Property owners are responsible for providing tenants with safe conditions, and elevators must be reliable and present no threats. Exposing tenants to safety hazards can lead to premises liability lawsuits.

A tragedy that will probably be talked about for a long time claimed the life of a 6-week-old infant in a neighboring state on a recent Thursday morning. As she often does, the 21-year-old mother reportedly put the baby in her stroller, walked out of her apartment on the 23rd floor and pushed the button to summon the elevator. When the elevator doors opened, the mother unknowingly proceeded to push the stroller into a void -- the car was not there.

The baby fell down the shaft and onto the elevator's roof where it was being serviced eight stories down. When emergency workers extricated her, the child was unconscious, and she was rushed to a hospital. Sadly she did not survive this horrific accident. Reportedly, the out-of-service elevators had been the subject of approximately 20 complaints to the property owner since the beginning of 2015.

Other tenants reported that this was not the first time a life was lost due to a fall down the elevator shaft of this building. While this family will likely struggle to cope with the reality of this tragedy, they may pursue financial assistance to ease the financial burden. The property owner, along with the company responsible for maintenance on the elevator, can be named as defendants if a premises liability lawsuit is filed. The most appropriate guidance through the navigation of such a claim can be obtained from an experienced Connecticut attorney who is skilled in advocating on behalf of those who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of property owners.

Source: The New York Times, "Baby Dies After Fall in Elevator Shaft at Troubled Brooklyn High-Rise", Alan Feuer, Emily Palmer, Oct. 13, 2016

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