FedEx Elevator Accident Case Continues

elevator door closeIt’s been said that the “close door” buttons on certain elevators don’t do anything. One unlucky plaintiff apparently encountered an elevator with a functioning “close door” button, with an unpleasant result.

In Chanice v. Federal Express Corp. (decided June 26, 2014), plaintiff alleged that “the top portion of a bi-folding industrial elevator door struck plaintiff in the head as he was entering the elevator when a FedEx employee, who had boarded the elevator before plaintiff, pushed the button to close the door while his back was to the door.”

The Appellate Division, First Department held that this was sufficient to withstand a CPLR 3211(a)(7) motion to dismiss, and the lower court erred by holding to the contrary:

The complaint is viable insofar as it alleges that the FedEx courier was negligent in pressing the button to close the door while facing away from the doorway without allowing himself to verify that no one was entering the elevator. Given the unique nature of this bi-folding industrial elevator door, the FedEx courier had a duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances to avoid closing the door in a manner that would cause injury to persons entering the elevator.

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