In Oklahoma, the owners of property are expected to make sure that there are no hazards on the land or in the buildings that could injure others. All property owners have some degree of obligation to maintain their locations in a safe way, and this is especially true of schools where kids are required to spend their days.
One Oklahoma City school, unfortunately, may have fallen short in its obligations and thereby created a dangerous situation for its students. According to UPI.com, the school is being sued for injuries arising out of an elevator accident. While a lawyer for the District indicates that it was the plaintiff who was at fault for causing the accident, our Oklahoma City injury attorneys know that often elevator accidents occur as a result of inadequate maintenance or other fault on the part of the property owner.
Oklahoma City Elevator Accident at School
The recent case reported by UPI is arising out of an accident that took place in November 2011. A seventh-grader along with two other girls walked through a door and onto the floor of an elevator shaft. The girls became trapped in the elevator shaft and suffered injury when the elevator car pressed down on them. Two of the three girls did not take legal action after the accident, but the third student has filed a lawsuit. She was the most seriously injured in the elevator accident and is seeking at least $100,000 in damages from the school district.
Her attorneys said that the larger damage award will provide payment for the ongoing medical treatment required. The payment will also compensate the elevator accident victim for the fact that the accident resulted in permanent disfigurement.
The attorney for the school district denies that the school did anything wrong and indicates that the injured plaintiff was the one who was responsible for the accident. However, the Superintendent of the school district indicated three days after the accident occurred that the door to the elevator should have been locked. This failure may be viewed as a negligent failure giving rise to legal liability on the part of the school. Furthermore, the fact that the door was not locked was what made it possible for the three girls to open the door and fall down into the elevator shaft. Thus, there is an argument to be made that the school district was negligent in a way that led directly to the accident.
The District’s attorney, of course, argues that the plaintiff’s own negligence was the entire cause of injuries. The District’s attorney also indicated that the plaintiff’s comparative negligence was sufficient to prevent the victim from recovering compensation. Comparative negligence means that a person can obtain compensation for injuries even if he or she was partially to blame for an injury. However, under Oklahoma’s modified comparative rule, the plaintiff cannot have been more than 50 percent responsible for causing the injuries.
It will be important for the injured plaintiff here to be able to show why and how the school fell short and to directly link the school’s failure to the elevator accident in order to have a chance of recovering compensation.
If you’ve been in an Oklahoma City, OK accident, contact Daniel M. Davis, attorney and counselor of law, today at 1-800-HURTLINE.