A property management firm is claiming that it was an “Act of God” that led to an elevator accident that killed a 37 year old man on October 2nd, 2015. According to the company, there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the terrible tragedy, because “acts of God cannot be foreseen and intervened.”
Despite these protestations, this elevator accident was no act of God. Instead, it was an act of physics. Even the property management company agrees that the elevator was overloaded with fourteen people when the accident occurred. Engineers could have foreseen this would have occurred, which is why it is so important for property management companies to make sure that weight allowances are abided by at their properties.
Elevator maintenance is extremely important, as is proper engineering to ensure that no one who rides the elevator is put at risk. When elevator accidents do occur, significant injuries and even death are not uncommon.
The tactic used by this property management company is terrible but not surprising. Claiming an act of God is nothing new to avoid liability. Acts of God have also been used to attempt to excuse:
- Mechanical malfunctions due to deferred maintenance
- Crushing injuries caused by improperly secured objects
- Falling walls and ceilings due to improper construction
Sometimes it is reasonable to excuse an accident due to an act of God, such as when a tornado tears the roof off a house, or when a lightning strike causes severe damage. These types of acts of God are extremely rare, and anyone claiming an act of God was responsible for an accident needs to prove it. Attempting to cover negligence with such a claim is preposterous.
Sadly, taking responsibility for negligence is not as common as it should be. Property management firms and building owners frequently attempt to shift blame onto others, whether it be claiming an accident was unpreventable or blaming a tenant for their own negligence.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to negligence on the part of a property owner or property management company, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney. An experienced lawyer has heard all these excuses before, and will know how to proceed to get you the compensation you are entitled to.