On December 24, 2015 at approximately 4 p.m., Olegaio Pabon stepped into the elevator at a Bronx NYCHA development in New York City. Before he was completely inside, the elevator rocketed up trapping his leg and hand. He then fell on his head. He died from the resulting injuries.
The fatal elevator accident was avoidable. Approximately thirty minutes before the incident, a concerned tenant of the building had called to complain about the elevator “going up and down by itself with its door open and when the door closed it slam[ed] really hard.” Nothing was done to address this complaint and no inspector was sent to look into it. This act of negligence resulted in the death of 84 year old Olegaio Pabon.
The Department of Investigation’s (DOI) reports revealed that the brake monitor had been disabled. It further reported that it seemed like a NYCHA elevator mechanic had clipped the wires on the device and closed off the electrical connection by covering it with black electrical tape.
The DOI further found that from 2014 through June 2018, 3 top NYCHA elevator division managers (Derrick Graham, 49, Virgel Fincher, 51, and Alan Guadagno, 61) falsified 33 inspections reports claiming the elevators were inspected when in fact they were not. The falsifications continued even after the deadly accident.
On November 29, 2018, the trio was ordered to appear in criminal court, facing multiple charges of felony for lying and up to four years behind bars if convicted. The District Attorney’s office brought these charges after the DOI released their report following the death of Pabon. The report reveals a pattern of problems in the unit and suspect that the brake monitor was tampered. It also lists a series of communication breakdown inside NYCHA.
Legal Protection For Elevator Accidents
There are many reasons why and how elevator accidents occur. In order to ensure that you or a loved one who was seriously injured in an elevator accident obtains the full compensation that you deserve, you should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. has the necessary experience and resources to successfully handle all types of elevator accident claims. We are aggressive in getting our clients the full extent of the monetary compensation they deserve for the injuries they have suffered.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident and would like to consult with an experienced New York elevator accident attorney, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.