Elevator and Escalator Accident Reconstruction and Litigation

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James Filippone
Lawyers & Judges Pub., Oct 1, 2005 - Law - 431 pages
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You're considering the case of a maintenance worker injured while repairing an elevator. Or perhaps it's an elderly woman hurt on a department store escalator while Christmas shopping with her grandkids. An initial search of the literature has turned up almost nothing useful. Your instinct tells you it's a good case, but to evaluate it properly, you need this latest addition our litigation series. The key questions are: what caused the accident, and what were the contributory factors? Some accidents have an element of "in the wrong place at the wrong time" about them, and others have an element of disregard for the equipment involved. Sadly, others fall into the category of sheer negligence or incompetence. This book will help you tell the difference. The authors have had the unpleasant task of investigating numerous elevator and escalator accidents. Their expertise will guide you as you make your decision to take or reject the case, and their experience will give you the basic understanding of the issues you need to proceed with confidence. TOPICS INCLUDE Codes, regulations and related subjects--for the U.S., with consideration of Canada and the U.K.Accident statistics and selected incidents The elements of typical elevator accidents The elements of typical escalator accidents Reviewing and understanding maintenance documents Presuit investigation: should a suit be instituted? Legal theories and negligence A glossary and a sample expert report Pleadings--excerpt of a typical complaint Discovery--sample interrogatories, request for production of documents and corporate designee notices Expert opinion: the applicability of Daubert, Khumo and Frye

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About the author (2005)

James Filippone, P.E., is a mechanical engineer who started his career in the design and construction of nuclear power plants. Three Mile Island subtly convinced Jim that a change in industries was in order. He joined the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey several years later, and started his elevator and escalator career. He became deeply involved with inspections, maintenance evaluations, testing, accident investigations, code compliance, and development and review of specifications and contracts. This has included jurisdiction over approximately 650 elevators and 400 escalators. It is reported that this represents the second largest grouping of escalators for one owner in the U.S. and one of the largest for elevators. This equipment is installed at three major airports, bus and train terminals, seaports, a wide variety of industrial and commercial facilities and formerly at the World Trade Center (New York City). The challenges of this diverse operating environment were supplemented by the necessity for assuming the role of equipment owner, building management, lessor, inspector and consultant as the conditions and need arose. Jim is a licensed New Jersey elevator inspector and a certified QEI elevator inspector. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York and New Jersey. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (BSME) from Manhattan College and an Master of Science degree in management (MSM) from Polytechnic University. Jim has been deeply involved with development of the A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators and the A17.2 Inspectors' Manual for Elevators and Escalators, serving on the following A17 Code Committees: Standards (Main), 1995 to present (member) and 1993-1995 (alternate) National Interest Review, 1991 to 1995 (member) Inspections, 1989 to present (member) Maintenance, Repair and Replacement, 1996 to present (member) Editorial, 1996 to present (member) He can be reached at The ElevatorGuy@att.net Joel D. Feldman, Esq. is an attorney who received his J.D. in 1981 from Villanova University School of Law. He is a shareholder and managing partner of the Philadelphia law firm of Anapol, Schwartz, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, P.C. He has served as an associate editor of the Philadelphia County Reporter, which publishes trial court opinions in Philadelphia. He is admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and is an active member of the Philadelphia and American Trial Lawyers' Association. He is the author of a number of articles pertinent to litigation, including “Protective Orders in Product Liability Cases,” Vol. 4, No. 1, The Brief, American Bar Association, Fall, 1984. He is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Mid-Sized Law Firm Management Committee, and has been active in various organizations pertinent to the preservation of historical structures in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His product liability practice has included successfully representing victims injured by faulty machines, products, tools, construction equipment, automobiles, consumer products, leisure and sport equipment, as well as elevators and escalators. His litigation experience involving escalators and elevators has included cases against elevator and escalator manufacturers, owners, and maintenance companies. He is a frequent lecturer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as moderator and faculty member, continuing legal education courses involving aspects of litigation including deposition techniques, use of expert witnesses, accident reconstruction, highway design, governmental immunity, liquor liability and ethics. His nonlegal interests include historical preservation, snow skiing, rock climbing and gardening. He lives in Springfield, Pennsylvania with his wife Dianne L. Anderson, and his children, Casey and Brett, to whom this book is dedicated.He can be reached at jfeldman@anapolschwartz.com Ronald D. Schloss, executive director, SEEC, LLC, is an elevator consultant and electrical engineer with a life-long dedication to the vertical transportation industry. All of his forty-plus working years, except for military obligations, have been in the elevator industry. This is ironic because his first seventeen years were isolated in a small southern Illinois coal-mining town. The area was devoid of elevators and escalators, except for those elevators that carried the miners several hundred feet below the surface and down into the tunneled world of coal mining. His father, Moxie “Max” Schloss first introduced him to elevators. After a career as a professional boxer, bouncer and bartender Max worked the remaining years in elevator maintenance and eventually got Ron into the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC). Ron was an installer for Otis, and a maintenance technician, engineer and manager for Westing-house Electric Corporation, which later became Schindler Elevator Corporation. Ron left the corporate world in 1996 and founded SEEC, LLC. Ron has published numerous books and articles for the vertical transportation industry, some of which can be obtained through Elevator World magazine and McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Association of Elevator Contractors, and National Association of Vertical Transportation Professionals. Ron is serving as a member on the following ASME A17 Code Committees: National Interest Review, 1997 to present Inspectors' Manual, 1993 to present Maintenance, Repair and Replacement, 1996 to present David A. Cooper has been in the lift and escalator industry since he left school in 1980. His initial training was as an apprenticeship with British Railways working on lifts, escalators, cranes and fašade access equipment. He is currently the managing director of LECS (UK) Ltd, a practice of consulting engineers specialising in lifts, escalators and vertical transportation systems. Before this he was a district engineer surveyor with British Engine Insurance and wrote and presented their technical training manuals and courses on lifts and escalators as well as being responsible for statutory examinations of lifts, escalators and lifting equipment in the West End of London. From 1985 to 1988 he worked for Kone Lifts as a service engineer based in the Sussex, Kent and Surrey area. During this time he was promoted to staff engineer and area safety manager based at Gatwick Airport. Mr. Cooper is a past chairman of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lift Group Committee and was appointed as the UK coordinator of The International Association of Elevator Engineers in 1996. Other interests with professional bodies include being a member of the Council of Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers having formerly been a member of the executive council and board of directors of The Institute of Incorporated Executive Engineers (IIExE) prior to its merger with The Institute of Incorporated Engineers (IIE). He represents the IIE on the British Standards Institute MHE/4 committee for lifts and escalators and has done so since 1990. During this time he has been involved in the updating and introduction of various standards including BS EN81, BS7801, EN13015 and BS7255. In 1993 Mr. Cooper was awarded the Highfield Shield by IIExE for his work campaigning for the statutory requirement of escalator inspections following a research project and presentation of the paper to the Institution. As a well known industry speaker, he has presented many papers at home and abroad to a wide range of organisations including the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers at their 1993 Lift Group Seminar and the International Association of Elevator Engineers (IAEE) Seminars in Vienna 1993, Barcelona 1996, London 1997, Zurich 1998 and London in 1999. In addition he has presented papers to the Lift Engineering Society of Australia (LESA) in Melbourne 1999 and the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers (HKIE) in 1997 and 1999. He is a member of the Lift Engineering Society of Australia (LESA) and The National Association of Vertical Transportation Professionals (USA). Since 1994 he has written the regular column on lift and escalator safety in the UK trade journal Elevation, this now totals over thirty-five papers. He has also written many papers for other trade journals including Elevatori (Italy), Elevator World (USA), Elevator Kai (Japan), Revista del Ascensori (Argentina) and Lift Report (Germany) from within the lift sector and others outside including Premises & Facilities Management, The Caterer and Hotelkeeper and Safety Management. In March, 1998 Mr. Cooper authored the cover story in the trade journal Elevator World following a research project into escalator passenger entrapments. This project has subsequently been referenced positively in other investigations including an MSC project by a student based in San Francisco. As well as being one of the senior contributors to the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers Guide D in Building Transportation Systems, which was published in 2000, in 1997 he was a co-author of a book entitled The Elevator & Escalator Micropedia with Dr. G C Barney and John Inglis, which was published by the International Association of Elevator Engineers. This is an encyclopaedia of lifts and escalators. He has also contributed to numerous other books including Cliffhangers by Michael Burrell and Moving People from Street to Platform by Ray Orton. Mr. Cooper was educated at Eastbourne Grammar School and received further education at Croydon, Crawley, City of Westminster, Cleveland and Nene Colleges as well as North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), University of Brighton, Open University and University College Northampton. He is a registered Incorporated Engineer with the Engineering Council and has acted as an expert witness on many occasions. He has presented evidence in both civil and criminal cases0976247305\Kevyn deRegt: Style-setter and entrepreneur Kevyn deRegt has applied her flair and knowledge of interior design to the creation of Clementine, her home furnishing shops in Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut (www.clementinesonline.com). She has designed and developed merchandise for her stores, including chine, table accessories, picture frames, and handmade quilts and pillows.

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