Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Summary Judgment for Defendants in Elevator Injury Accident Case

Elevator accidents can be terrifying for the victim. When we get into an elevator, we rarely expect some kind of serious malfunction to occur. But when it does, we can bring a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the damages that we may have suffered as a result of the accident. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you learn more about the legal system and your potential rights.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Illinois Court of Appeal Discussed an elevator accident involving a man who was working at a construction site. He was in a freight elevator when another passenger pushed the “door close” button causing the door to come down and hit him. The door knocked his hardhat off and caused him to suffer a laceration on his forehead that resulted in a scar. He also had to leave work early due to neck pain.

The man filed a lawsuit against a number of parties including the building owner, the building manager, and the company that designed the elevator. In his complaint, he argued that the elevator did not have a signal that alerted passengers that the gate was closing. He also alleged in his complaint that the defendants had already ordered and received an electronic sensor that would have provided this.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment in response. This asks the court to conclude that there are no genuine disputes of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment without a jury reviewing the evidence. The lower court granted the motion. The plaintiff settled with one of the parties and filed an appeal of the motion for summary judgment.

Ultimately, the lower court reversed summary judgment for two of the parties on the basis that there were material facts in dispute. A few weeks before this accident, one of the defendant’s employees inspected the elevator after a passenger was also struck by the closing gate. This creates an issue regarding whether the defendants had notice that the elevator gate created a dangerous condition. The appellate court also rejected the defendant’s defense that the elevator gate was an open and obvious danger that a reasonable passenger would have been able to identify. The appellate court concluded that the risk posed by the closing gate was not obvious. It also noted that the obviousness of an allegedly dangerous condition is not based on the subjective view of the injured party, but an analysis of what someone may objectively perceive.

If you were hurt in an elevator accident, you probably have serious injuries and a stack of medical bills. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you investigate your potential claim. We will handle key aspects like gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and making sure that you get the outcome that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, contact us at 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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