A Cabrini Green resident died yesterday when he fell down an elevator shaft. According to witnesses he was walking near the doors of the elevator when he fell against the doors. The doors gave way and he plunged to his death.This accident will certainly result in an Illinois wrongful death suit, and there are certain to be some legal issues which will be disputed:
- In Illinois elevator accident suits, the owner of the building is normally regarded as a common carrier, owing the highest duty of care for the safety of users of the elevator. Since the man was not actually on the elevator, will this be treated as a slip-and-fall negligence case? If so, the man’s family will have to show that the CHA either knew or reasonably should have known about the condition of the doors.
- In many elevator accident cases, the building owner has handed responsibility for maintaining the elevator off to the a contractor. How will the jury allocate fault between the parties?
These are important legal issues which will have a dramatic impact on the ultimate amount of compensation recovered by this man’s family. In any serious case such as this where there are complicated legal issues, we strongly recommend consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.