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Chicago teacher sues companies for injuries caused by elevator

According to a civil complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court, a Chicago-area charter school teacher is suing Otis Elevator, Schindler Elevator, Stonewater One North State Funding and Transwestern for damages in excess of $50,000. The complaint, filed Dec. 16, 2013, alleges that the woman's hand and arm were badly injured when the elevator door in which she was riding closed unexpectedly, catching her hand in it.

According to the complaint, the teacher had gotten on to an elevator while pushing a rolling teacher's cart when she allegedly noticed a person who was walking in the hall without an escort. She then reportedly tried to hold the door open with her hand, but the door closed on it anyway.

At the time, the teacher was working at Muchin College Prep school in a building owned by Transwestern and Stonewater. Otis manufactured the elevator in which the woman was riding, and Schindler was the company contracted to maintain it. Claims include allegations of negligence against all companies.

When a person suffers injuries in a building due to a failure to appropriately repair and maintain the premises, both the owners of the building as well as the companies tasked with maintenance and repair may be held liable in a lawsuit under principles of premises liability. Building owners owe a duty of care to people who are lawfully on the premises. When a person is injured due to negligence and it is determined that the duty was breached, the defendants may be responsible for paying both economic and non-economic damages to the injured victims. Individuals may wish to speak with an attorney for an analysis of their own cases.

Source: The Cook County Record, "Teacher claims elevator door closed on hand without warning", Annie Cosby, October 23, 2014

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