For Stephen Hewett-Brown the year 2016 was not to be. Instead, on New Year’s Eve he was crushed to death by a malfunctioning elevator at the Broome Street high-rise. Witnesses say that he managed to push a woman to safety before perishing.
The Buildings Department is currently investigating the precise cause of the accident. There had previously been numerous complaints and violation notices about the Broome Street high-rises’ elevators. A prior Tenants Association President said that “the elevators were a problem and needed to be fixed.”
NYC multiple dwelling laws require building owners to maintain their property in safe condition. This duty extends to inspecting and maintaining elevators. Numerous people are injured each year as a result of elevators mis-leveling, starting and stopping abruptly, free falling, stopping between floors and malfunctioning doors. Injuries can range from minor to severe, even causing death as happened to Mr. Hewett-Brown. Both residents and their guests are entitled to protections under the law. Elevator accidents in commercial premises are actionable as well.