A woman from Jacksonville, Florida, has been awarded 13 million dollars in compensation for an elevator fall thirteen years after her accident occurred.
Janice Beasley (41) was made the award by a jury at Duval County Courthouse after a two-week trial in which the court was told how, in May 1999, Janice was a passenger in an elevator at the office building in which she worked.
The jury were told how the elevator had malfunctioned and fallen from the twenty-third floor to the eighth and how, when an elevator engineer was summoned, rather than take Janice out of the elevator, he sent the elevator – with Janice inside of it – falling down to the basement of the building.
Due to her experience, Janice suffered multiple bruising which developed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and left her wheelchair-bound with partial paralysis of her left leg. Janice was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression as a result of her accident.
Janice filed a claim for compensation for the elevator fall against the building´s owners Highwoods Properties Inc and Schindler Elevator Company – alleging that Highwoods were responsible for the initial malfunction and Schindler Elevator Company for her second accident.
Schindler Elevator Company did not accept liability and went to great lengths to avoid going to trial. However, after a ten-year delay in court proceedings, the case was eventually heard – leading to an award of compensation for an elevator fall against both defendants amounting to just over 13 million dollars.