Articles Posted in Elevator Accidents

The question in this case, which was posed to the Illinois Appellate Court, was: “Does the trial court have discretion to permit a Rule 215 medical examiner to testify when the attorney for the party examined has not been served with the examiner’s report within the time specified by Rule 215(c)?”

The answer the Illinois Appellate Court gave in conclusion was “No.”

The ruling came despite a violation of the portion of the Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215 that requires a physician who was hired by the defendant ‘s attorney to conduct a medical examination of the plaintiff to send a copy of his report to the plaintiff’s attorney within 21 days of the checkup – and despite the fact that the third sentence of Rule 215(c) prescribes exclusion as the automatic remedy for a violation of this deadline. In this case, a circuit court judge in Madison County, Ill., denied Linda Batson’s motion to bar Dr. Mitchell Rotman from testifying in her personal injury case against Schindler Elevator Corp. The judge certified the question of law for immediate appeal.

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In July 2009, Clarence Walker was trying to gain access to a broken elevator at 365 W. Oak St., Chicago, Ill., from the third floor of what was then Cabrini-Green in the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) building. The apartment building has since been torn down. At the time of the incident, the building was managed by It’s Time for a Change RMC. The company was a non-profit management firm run by building residents.

A witness testified that when Walker opened the third-floor elevator-shaft doors, he stepped forward and disappeared down the shaft. His body was found in the pit at the shaft’s bottom.

Celeste Walker, daughter of Clarence Walker, filed the wrongful-death lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County. She alleged in the lawsuit that CHA and the RMC management company chose not to service and maintain the elevator and chose not to warn residents about the elevator’s hazardous condition.

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A 53-year-old construction worker was riding down a hotel elevator when it malfunctioned. The elevator dropped more than two floors and came to a hard stop as the emergency brake engaged. The worker was wearing a work belt with heavy carpenter tools on it. He was thrown into a metal instrument panel. The worker suffered herniated disks at C4-5 and L5-S1 and a left shoulder labrum tear that required surgery.

The construction worker continued to suffer pain and limited range of motion in his neck, back and shoulder. His medical bills total $236,000.

As a master carpenter, the worker was not able to return to the same level of carpentry that he did in the past. He now does part-time carpentry work.

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