Attention is being drawn to yet another elevator accident, this time occurring inside the Tampa International Airport. The fatal accident consisted of a man entering an elevator, only to find that the elevator was actually stuck on a lower floor. He fell into the elevator shaft and down onto the top of the elevator. He died there.
The man apparently had to force open the doors to the elevator shaft before he could step into it. An investigation into the accident revealed that there was a broken lock on those doors. Had the lock been operational, the man would not have been able to access the empty elevator shaft. After the accident, the state of Florida said that the state of the lock created a situation so dangerous that the threat of an accident was imminent.
Workers found the man after a nearby elevator also malfunctioned, and they entered the elevator that the man was above and discovered broken glass.
Even though the tragedy was officially ruled an accident, that does not exclude the possibility that negligent maintenance of the elevator and its lock are to blame for the man’s death. The airport and its maintenance staff have a duty to citizens to maintain the premises in safe working order. Not only could the man’s surviving family pursue a premises liability lawsuit because of the unsafe building component, but they could also take action with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Family members who have lost a loved one in an accident should know that there is financial recovery available to them, especially when the death was caused by someone’s failure to make sure a public place is safe.