California man dies in tragic elevator accident

Posted on March 27, 2013 by

On behalf of The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter posted in Premises Liability on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

An elevator shaft should never be viewed as a safe place to occupy, even if it seems as if the elevator is not in operation. For as one tragic incident shows, elevator accidents can cause serious injuries or even death.

A tragic accident unfolded as a California man lost his life after he was crushed by an elevator. A passenger in the elevator heard a man call out in pain after the elevator stalled. Apparently, the victim was trapped between the shaft and the elevator wall when the incident occurred. The police are still investigating how the man gained access to the elevator shaft, as well as other details surrounding the accident. It is suspected that the victim may have been homeless, as many of his personal belongings were also found in the elevator shaft.

There are times when property owners are liable for the accidents that occur on their premises. However, the extent of liability varies depending on the legal status of the visitor. Sometimes visitors are invitees. This means they are invited onto the property for some reason, for example, shoppers at a store. Property owners usually must make all reasonable efforts to ensure their property is safe for invitees. This means either repairing dangerous conditions on their property or warning that those dangerous conditions exist.

However, when someone is on someone else’s property without their consent, they are considered a trespasser. In this situation, property owners are under no duty to ensure their premises are safe. At the very most, a property owner may be charged with the task of posting warnings of dangerous man-made conditions, if they know their property is likely to be trespassed upon.

Devastating accidents such as this serve as grim reminders to respect the safety limitations of elevators and escalators. The failure to do so could result not only in injuries and death, but may also extend to liability to the property owners involved.

Source: Los Angeles Time, “Man crushed by BART elevator in San Francisco,’ March 11, 2013

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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