The Top of Heaven

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Q: On the sixth floor, my co-worker and I entered the elevator.  We pushed the button for the lobby.  The elevator moved up and down.  It shook and stopped.  We were trapped!  Over the intercom, the building’s fire-safety director told us to stay calm.  “Mechanics are on the way.”  We sat on the floor of the elevator, and waited.

Sometimes, I do not remember things too well.  The other day, I went to a movie called “The Runaway Elevator.”  In the movie, the elevator made an upward movement and then continued moving up and down the elevator shaftway at twice its normal speed for approximately one hour before stopping.  The occupants were really shook up, and they recovered millions.  My son-in-law says maybe that’s what happened with me.

A: From what you do remember, it does not appear that you suffered physical injuries.  Moreover, it does not appear that the conduct of management was so outrageous in character, and extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency; thus, you cannot prevail on a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress.  In addition, it does not appear that management had exhibited malice or a wanton disregard for public safety; so, you cannot obtain punitive damages.

As for the ‘movie’ version, bear in mind that 99% of the time that scenario is mechanically, scientifically and physically impossible – because of multiple redundant safety features that will stop the elevator instantly in case of excessive speed.

You should always tell your attorney the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Your movie has nothing to do with this.  Even if you go to the bottom of the barrel, and find an attorney who does not care about the truth, count on your opponents to go to the top of heaven – in order to expose you both.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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