Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin attorney, Brielle C. Goldfaden, obtained a $2,600,000 recovery for two workers who were injured in an elevator accident. The plaintiffs, two building cleaning employees, were inside an elevator when an equipment malfunction caused it to crash.

The elevator, which was maintained by the defendant’s on-site resident mechanic, was nearly 100 years old. Brielle argued that the elevator was not properly maintained and, as a result, while the plaintiffs were inside the elevator an 800-pound iron chain which connected the elevator to the counterweight inside the shaft broke and the entire chain fell on top of the elevator car. The elevator roof collapsed inward and the car descended rapidly before it came to an abrupt stop, throwing our clients to the elevator floor. For a half an hour after the accident, our clients were left stunned in the pitch black and covered in debris, before they were helped through an escape hatch on top of the elevator.

Both plaintiffs suffered spinal injuries in the accident and, ultimately, each had spinal surgery (one to her neck and the other to his back) to remove the injured discs and fuse their vertebra to stabilize their spines. Both clients returned to work after recovering from surgery and continued to support their respective families.

Brielle litigated the case which involved obtaining the elevator maintenance records and hired an elevator expert to examine the records and perform an inspection of the elevator. She also successfully defeated the elevator company’s motion for summary judgment, in which the company argued it was not responsible for the failure of the chain and the resulting crash. After two rounds of mediation, Brielle was able to obtain a $2.6 million settlement on behalf of our clients.

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