Four people have sued American Crescent Elevators and Selective Insurance/Mesa Underwriters in Orleans Parish Civil District Court after they suffered injuries in an elevator collapse. The four plaintiffs worked together in the building where the collapse occurred. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were inside the elevator when a malfunction occurred. The elevator quickly fell to the lowest floor of the building. Fortunately, no one was killed.
The plaintiffs are seeking all reasonable damages, court costs, attorney fees and appropriate relief. They have accused the defendants of failure to warn of danger, failure to maintain the elevator and overall negligence.
Elevator collapses are rare, and in the event that something does go wrong, there are many safety features in place to protect elevator occupants. Elevators are statistically safer than escalators and even cars. However, these incidents do occur.
Traction elevators have speed-sensing governors that activate special brakes if the car moves too quickly. Additionally, the four to eight steel cables that hold these elevators are all strong enough to hold up the car by themselves, so the likelihood of an elevator losing all its cables is very low.
Hydraulic elevators, on the other hand, tend not to have the same safety features as traction elevators. This make them much more likely to fail catastrophically. However, hydraulic elevators are rarely taller than six stories.