Mechanic failed to get her off malfunctioning elevator: plaintiff
|Premises Liability - Elevator Accidents|
|Janice Beasley and Stephen Beasley v. Schindler Elevator Corporation and Highwoods Properties, Inc., No. 02-04043-CA|
|Duval County Circuit Court, 4th, FL|
|Jack M. Schemer
- Bradley J. Edwards; Farmer, Jaffe Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L.; Fort Lauderdale, FL, for Janice Beasley, Stephen Beasley
- Jay Howell; Jay Howell & Associates, P.A.; Jacksonville, FL, for Janice Beasley, Stephen Beasley
- Thomas Waardenburg; Elevators/Lifts/Conveyors; Hollywood, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- George Joseph M.D.; Psychology/Counseling; Jacksonville, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- Manley Kilgore M.D.; Neurology; Jacksonville, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- Gil Spruance; Vocational Rehabilitation; Jacksonville, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- Earl Traynham Ph.D.; Economics; Jacksonville, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- Anthony Kirkpatrick M.D.; Chronic Pain; Tampa, FL called by: Bradley Edwards, Jay Howell
- Jeffrey D. Devonchik; Schutt, Schmidt & Noey; Jacksonville, FL, for Highwoods Properties Inc.
- Richard P. HermannII; Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold LLP; Fort Lauderdale, FL, for Schindler Elevator Corp.
- Dennis R. Schutt; Schutt, Schmidt & Noey; Jacksonville, FL, for Highwoods Properties Inc.
- Stuart A. Weinstein; Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold LLP; Fort Lauderdale, FL, for Schindler Elevator Corp.
- Abraham Rogozinski M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Jacksonville, FL called by: Jeffrey Devonchik, Richard Hermann, Dennis Schutt, Stuart Weinstein
- Kristjan Olaffson M.D.; Neuropsychology; Orlando, FL called by: Jeffrey Devonchik, Richard Hermann, Dennis Schutt, Stuart Weinstein
- William Lee Ph.D., P.E.; Biomechanical; St. Petersburg, FL called by: Jeffrey Devonchik, Richard Hermann, Dennis Schutt, Stuart Weinstein
- Leroy Rigby; Elevators/Lifts/Conveyors; Tallahassee, FL called by: Jeffrey Devonchik, Richard Hermann, Dennis Schutt, Stuart Weinstein
- Zurich Insurance Co. for Highwoods Properties Inc. and Schindler Elevator Corp.
On May 2, 1999, plaintiff Janice Beasley, 41, a manager, was on board an elevator in the Modis Building in Jacksonville. Beasley claimed that the elevator began to malfunction, resulting in a series of falls from the 23rd to the eighth floor. After the elevator stopped at the eighth floor, Beasley claimed that a mechanic from Schindler Elevator Corp., the elevator maintenance company, reset the elevator, which caused the elevator to descend once more, this time to the basement. Beasley claimed injuries to her knees, as well as complex regional pain syndrome, partial paralysis and psychological injuries.
Beasley and her husband, Stephen Beasley, sued Schindler Elevator, alleging it was negligent in its response to the malfunctioned elevator. They also sued Highwoods Properties Inc., the building's owner, alleging premises liability and negligence.
Janice Beasley contended that the Schindler mechanic responding to the elevator malfunction failed to remove her from the car when it stopped at the eighth floor. Plaintiffs' counsel contended that the mechanic's actions were negligent, causing Beasley to experience another elevator fall, from the eighth floor to the basement, and sustain her injuries.
Schindler argued that it did not cause the elevator malfunction and that it was not negligent. Further, Schindler contended that the fall from the eighth floor to the basement did not cause any injuries.
Janice Beasley went to a doctor the day after the accident with bruises to her knees, which she claimed developed into complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), resulting in partial paralysis. She also claimed psychological injuries of post-traumatic stress disorder, pseudo seizures, and conversion disorder. She has been undergoing treatment for her physical and psychological injuries for 13 years.
Beasley claimed that she still experiences CRPS in her knees, and that she is now wheelchair-bound due to partial paralysis. She claimed that she has been unable to work in the past 13 years, and has been prevented from enjoying hobbies such as running, gardening and aerobics. She claimed that she continues to see a psychologist and CRPS specialist. She claimed $6,240,000 in total medical costs, $948,000 in lost earnings, and pain and suffering damages. Stephen Beasley sought damages for his consortium claim.
Schindler claimed that Janice Beasley's injuries, if any, occurred prior to the company's involvement in the elevator response, and thus were not caused by Schindler's negligence. Schindler also claimed that any development of CRPS resolved and therefore was not a permanent injury.
The jury found the defendants liable, and determined that damages totaled $13,188,000.
$6,240,000 Personal Injury: Medical Costs
$948,000 Personal Injury: Lost Earnings
$4,000,000 Personal Injury: Pain & Suffering
$2,000,000 Personal Injury: Loss of Consortium
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs' counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter's phone calls.