Ney & Chapman Prevail

Pete Ney and Mike Chapman recently concluded a wrongful death elevator case in which all claims against their client were dismissed, and they were able to recover most of the client’s defense fees and expenses.

Decedent fell from the 11th floor down an old freight elevator hoistway.  His estate sued the building owner and all contractors working in the building at or around the time of the fall.  Although our client had a maintenance contract on the passenger elevators only, it had surveyed the freight elevator prior to submitting the maintenance proposal.  Among other things, Plaintiff claimed that the client voluntarily assumed a duty to discover a door condition that arguably led to the accident.  The primary responsible party was the building owner.  In fact, it settled all claims with the estate and then brought a contribution action against all other Defendants.

After much discovery, Ney & Chapman filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the contribution claim, which was granted, and the building owner appealed.  We also filed a declaratory judgment action requesting insurance coverage under the building owner’s policy.  That Motion was granted and appealed as well.  While both cases were on appeal, the case was settled with all claims against our client being dismissed and the client recouping nearly all of its defense fees and expenses.