The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission approved its first safety recall for a residential elevator. The reason for the recall is that the elevator could pose a danger to children. The recall was only recently issued despite years of several injuries and deaths of small children crushed by elevators. However, the recall was voluntary and only agreed to by Otis Elevator Co.
The risk to children is created by a few inches of space between a home elevator’s two doors, which is wide enough to trap a child. Several children have been killed and injured since 1981. The fix is simple. A $100 to $200 space guard fills the door gap. A Washington Post investigation revealed some elevator companies fought off regulator efforts to force a recall for years.
The recent recall was issued in part because of the persistence of the parents to a young boy injured by an elevator in 2010. The boy’s parents were later joined by families of two other children who were killed in home elevator accidents.
Elevator accidents and injuries are not uncommon nor are they limited to children. Elevator accidents can be caused for several reasons, including poor maintenance, defective parts, and improper installation. Depending on the facts, parties that could be liable include a building owner, the elevator manufacturer, the maintenance company, and a building property manager.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an elevator accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.