The family of a man who died after falling down a garage elevator shaft filed a lawsuit against the elevator company and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on September 26.
The claims arise from an accident that occurred on March 15, 2013, in the early hours of the morning, when the 31-year-old Pennsylvania man was visiting Florida. Taking the parking garage elevator at the Tampa International Airport from the third floor to the seventh, he then tried to force the elevator door open to re-enter it. It wasn’t until later that an airport worker found the elevator stuck on the first floor with broken glass inside. Eventually airport employees discovered the man’s body on top of the elevator car.
While the man’s death was ruled accidental by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office, the family and the defendants are set to do battle over who is at fault for the man’s death. There is a body of evidence to suggest that the man was significantly impaired at the time of the accident and this might have contributed to the accident. The Medical Examiner determined his blood alcohol level was at 0.17 at the time of his death and airport police officers found vodka bottles and anxiety medication in the man’s pockets at the scene of his death.
However, his family is arguing that his alleged intoxication was not a contributing factor in his death and instead a malfunctioning elevator is to blame. They allege that the Aviation Authority did not properly inspect, maintain and repair the parking garage elevator and that led it to malfunction on March 15, 2013. The manufacturer of the elevator, Schindler, issued a statement that it has cooperated fully with the investigation and will defend itself against any claims that it is to blame for the man’s death.
The case is in its early stages and it is unlikely it will be decided or settled in 2014.
For information about how you can proceed with a wrongful death claim, contact the team of skilled Bradenton attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.