The First Department determined defendant’s motion for summary judgment in this elevator accident case was properly denied. The elevator fell from the 20th to the 11th floor. Although defendant demonstrate a lack of notice, there was a question of fact under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur:
Plaintiff submitted evidence to support each of the elements of res ipsa loquitur, namely “(1) that the occurrence would not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence, (2) that the injury was caused by an agent or instrumentality within the exclusive control of defendant, and (3) that no act or negligence on the plaintiff’s part contributed to the happening of the event” … .
The testimony of plaintiff, together with that of a witness who was in the elevator with her when the elevator allegedly dropped, is sufficient to raise an issue of fact as to whether the elevator did in fact drop suddenly … . A free-fall or sudden drop of an elevator does not ordinarily happen in the absence of negligence … . We reject, as we have previously, defendant’s argument that it lacked exclusive control of the elevator because a passenger in the elevator activated the emergency stop button and jumped to try to stop the free fall once the elevator suddenly dropped … . Although it is not necessary to consider the affidavit of plaintiff’s expert witness, we note that plaintiff’s testimony is also supported by the opinion of her expert, who explained how the accident could have occurred as plaintiff described. The expert affidavit is properly part of the appellate record since it was submitted by defendant and expressly incorporated by plaintiff into her opposition papers. Colon v New York City Hous. Auth., 2017 NY Slip Op 08463, First Dept 12-5-17
NEGLIGENCE (QUESTION FACT ABOUT THE APPLICABILITY OF THE RES IPSA LOQUITUR DOCTRINE IN THIS ELEVATOR ACCIDENT CASE (FIRST DEPT))/RES IPSA LOQUITUR (ELEVATOR ACCIDENT, QUESTION FACT ABOUT THE APPLICABILITY OF THE RES IPSA LOQUITUR DOCTRINE IN THIS ELEVATOR ACCIDENT CASE (FIRST DEPT))/ELEVATOR ACCIDENTS (RES IPSA LOQUITUR, QUESTION FACT ABOUT THE APPLICABILITY OF THE RES IPSA LOQUITUR DOCTRINE IN THIS ELEVATOR ACCIDENT CASE (FIRST DEPT))