It started as an ordinary morning for a young Brooklyn mother as she was ready to take the elevator down from the 23rd floor at the Sea Rise Apartments near Coney Island. When the doors opened and the 21-year-old went to enter the elevator car with the stroller holding her young daughter, the mother and infant instead fell into the elevator shaft and onto the top of the car they were waiting for.
The elevator was stuck between the 22nd and 23rd floors and out of service, yet the doors still opened. When the woman and her 6-week-old baby fell onto the car, it descended another seven stories before stopping. The mother was brought to Coney Island Hospital for treatment. Tragically, the infant did not survive.
Local police and inspectors from the Buildings Department are looking into the accident as well as prior complaints about the elevators in the high rise. There have been multiple complaints and violations filed against the private company that owns the apartment building, which is used for low-income housing. Residents have told investigators the elevators are known to be jumpy, and repeatedly would get stuck between floors.
Records currently show four building code violations for the elevators in the Sea Rise Apartments. There have been 23 major violations for the elevators in less than four years. The building where the deadly accident occurred has seen about two dozen complaints for nonworking elevators in less than two years, the latest apparently coming less than two weeks before the tragedy. The elevator involved in the accident had passed an in-depth inspection in January and was inspected again in August. Inspectors will continue to look through the elevator’s maintenance records.
A tragedy like this should never occur. It is the responsibility of building and property owners to maintain their premises to protect the safety of the public. When they are negligent and a serious or fatal injury occurs, they are to be held accountable. If you are ever injured due to the negligence of others, please call the attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to fight for your family’s rights.