An advertising executive who was crushed to death by an elevator in December was the victim of carelessness, the New York Post reports.
An examination of the deadly accident by the Departments of Buildings and Investigation revealed that the company responsible for the elevator’s maintenance “failed to follow the most basic safety procedures” in repairing the non-functional lift.
According to the official report, employees of Transel Elevator, Incorporated, disabled the safety circuit controlling the doors during work on an elevator at 285 Madison Avenue last December 11. Such actions are common during repairs and maintenance. However, when the workers left, they failed to reactivate the device. The elevator accelerated upward from the lobby with its doors open, dragging and killing 41-year-old Suzanne Hart, who was half in and half out when the car begins its fateful ascent.
Video security footage of the lobby showed that seconds before Hart entered the cab, two passengers pressed call buttons prompting the elevator to start moving to higher floors.
The report further noted that the workers failed to post signs warning of a repair was in progress and didn’t notify the Buildings Department that an inspection was needed before putting the elevator back in service.
Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said in the report:
These workers and their supervisors failed to follow the most basic safety procedures and their carelessness cost a woman her life.
A second spokesperson with the Investigation Commission, Rose Gill Hearn, opined, “The investigation starkly showed safety protocols were ignored.”
The Post notes that Transel’s license was suspended pending a hearing where it could be permanently revoked. The company also faces 23 violations that carry a minimum penalty of $117,000.
No word has been issued on whether the dead woman’s survivors plan to file a wrongful death action against the company.
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