Elevator Accident Case Dismissed For Failure To Prove Defect And Notice

Case: Tucci v. Starrett City, Inc.

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Date: 7/25/2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens injury attorney)

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Facts: Tough case. The plaintiff got hurt in this accident when the Starrett City (Brooklyn) elevator he was in dropped too quickly and stopped short.

Defendant Starrett City and the elevator company moved or summary judgment. This case had two problems, neither of which plaintiff could overcome.

First, plaintiff's elevator expert's opinion as to why the elevator malfunctioned was "speculative." Second, even if the plaintiff had shown there was an actual defect in the elevator, he failed to prove that either defendant had notice of any defect.

Notice is usually key to these cases and can be hard to prove. Unless an accident victim can find elevator riders or building residents who complained about the elevator, the plaintiff has to rely on maintenance and repair records. And those are usually poorly written and inadequate to prove notice of a defect. Also, if the elevator has been repaired or maintained, worn out parts may have been discarded.

Held: Plaintiff didn't show an elevator defect or that defendants had notice of any defect. Plaintiff's accident case is dismissed.

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