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All Press Releases for January 08, 2014 »
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Swing-door elevators claim the lives of several children

Popular swing-door elevators continue to injure small children. No industry standards have been made.
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    January 08, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Swing-door elevators are often found in smaller and older buildings. The elevators operate with an outside "swing door" and another closing gate on the inside of the system. Unfortunately, swing-door elevators can be extremely dangerous. The trapping systems serve as a serious risk to young children -- even though easy design remedies are available and a U.S. campaign opposing the use of such elevators exists.

According to the Modesto Bee, more than five children have died in swing-door elevator tragedies since 1995. Moreover, legal evidence put forward in a 2001 matter suing the Otis Elevator company has identified almost 35 children who were seriously injured or killed from swing-door elevator accidents from 1983 to 1993 in New Jersey and New York.

A recent tragedy, where a child was nearly crushed to death, has encouraged the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate a study of elevators in the home. The incident has also prompted the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to examine swing-door dangers.

The main danger is the small area between the elevator gate doors. Small children can be easily trapped when the outside door shuts behind them. When the outside door closes, the lift is ready to move -- even if the passenger does not clear the inner gate.

Some homeowners are installing these defective products in their homes. Consumers may use swing-door systems with infrared technology, which may prevent serious accidents; however, these are very expensive. Even so, the industry standard continues to utilize an inside door that often causes trapping by allowing smaller individuals to move inside the hole of the elevator.

The elevator industry suggests that there are still approximately 125,000 of these lifts in use in the country, and an estimated 5,000 have been purchased each year -- especially to townhouses. Hopefully, the recent tragedies will spur efforts to eliminate the safety issues associated with the common swing-door elevator design. Too many lives are at stake, and better design options exist.

If you have been harmed in accident caused by a dangerous or defective product, including an elevator, speak with a seasoned personal injury law attorney. Depending on the context, you could be entitled to recovery as a result of applicable product liability or premises liability laws.

Article provided by The Krist Law Firm, P.C.
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