The personal injury firm of Mattiacci Law recently recovered $365,000 for a young child in a defective elevator case. A 3 year old child’s hand was caught by an elevator door and was cut open. The child sustained a serious laceration to her hand. Mattiacci Law aggressively pursued the case against the elevator installer and maintenance company, along with the property owner and manager. The case was litigated in Philadelphia.
Mattiacci Law argued that the subject elevator violated current elevator maintenance codes by allowing a sharp edge along the elevator door. There was also evidence that there was a gap in the door large enough for a child’s hand to get caught. This gap was also against current elevator codes. The defense denied that any defective condition existed and argued that the claims against the elevator installer were limited due to the statute of repose, as the elevator was installed more than 12 years before the incident occurred.
Through extensive discovery and investigation, Mattiacci Law obtained evidence that the elevator company did not adequately inspect and maintain the elevator. The property manager and owner were also subjected to questioning regarding their knowledge of prior incidents involving the elevator and the lack of an appropriate response to ensure the elevator was safe.
Toward the end of discovery, Mattiacci Law also uncovered specific evidence of prior incidents in which other individuals were hurt by the elevator, something which had been denied by certain defendants earlier in the case. Immediately after obtaining this information, Mattiacci Law petitioned the Court to allow plaintiffs to amend their Complaint to include a claim for willful and wanton misconduct, along with a demand for punitive damages. The Court agreed and permitted plaintiffs to amend their Complaint. To add further pressure to the defense, Mattiacci Law requested discovery of the defendants’ net wealth, which is relevant at trial for a determination of punitive damages. The Court ordered the defense to provide this information. A request for mediation by the defense soon followed.
Initially the defense argued the case had limited value due to liability issues and minimal treatment and bills. The total adjusted medical lien was approximately $7,000 and the child had a good recovery from the injury. However, after Mattiacci Law built up the case and put pressure on the defense the case resolved for $365,000. The Court allowed the firm to establish an annuity for the child, and through a guaranteed benefit the child’s net recovery will significantly increase and continue to pay benefits well into adulthood.
If you or a family member have been injured by a defective elevator or other product, contact the Philadelphia personal injury firm Mattiacci Law today for a free case evaluation.