In Maryland last week, three workers were injured when a hotel freight elevator malfunctioned, resulting in a three-story free fall to the ground. One of the injured workers worked for the hotel; the other two were sprinkler technicians. One of the victims was so seriously injured that he had to be flown to the University of Maryland Hospital.There are a few points that come from this news story:1. All of the injured workers are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, which in Illinois would include payment of their medical expenses, two-thirds of their average weekly wage while they are off work (known as TTD), and a lump sum for permanency associated with their injuries.2. Most of the time, maintenance of elevators is contracted out to elevator maintenance companies. All of the injured workers should be permitted to pursue a third party liability case against the maintenance company based on their failure to properly inspect and maintain the elevator.3. The employees of the sprinkler company would also be permitted to sue the hotel for negligent maintenance of the elevator. Under Illinois law, owners of buildings with elevators are normally considered common carriers, which means that they must exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of the users of the elevator. Poor maintenance of the elevator is a basis for a liability suit against the owner of the elevator.4. However, the hotel employee could not sue the hotel in a liability case, but must instead limit his recovery against the hotel to worker’s compensation benefits. This is due to the exclusive remedy feature of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.