Elevator company faced many lawsuits even before 285 Madison Avenue tragedy

December 28, 2011 10:16AM

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From left: 17-19 Union Square West and 420 Lexington Avenue (building credits: PropertyShark)
The company responsible for maintaining the elevator at 285 Madison Avenue that killed a Young & Rubicam ad executive earlier this month is facing several lawsuits from people injured by their elevators, the New York Post reported.

There are at least eight active cases against the company, Transel. One was filed by the building super at 17-19 Union Square West, who became permanently injured after falling down the elevator shaft when he stepped through open doors before the elevator had arrived. He alleges Transel bypassed the elevator’s parking device which would prevent such an accident. Another suit was filed by a woman who tripped into the elevator at 420 Lexington Avenue when it did not align with the open doors.

Meanwhile, 285 Madison Avenue remains closed to the 1,300 people who work there as a Buildings Department investigates the deadly accident that occurred just hours after Transel had performed maintenance work.

In a statement quoted by the Post, Transel said its “top priority has been, and continues to be, the safety of our elevators and the security of those who use them.” [Post]