February 25, 2019

A New York woman was rescued by emergency services after being trapped in a private elevator for three days. 53 year old Marites Fortaliza was pulled to safety by firefighters after spending three days in the broken-down elevator in the home of billionaire Warren Stephens. The elevator is located in an upscale Manhattan townhouse on the Upper East Side and the victim had worked in that building for over 18 years. She was using the building elevator on Friday, Jan. 25 when it became stuck between the second and third floors of the home. Owners Warren and Harriet Stephens were away for the weekend, and Fortaliza was left trapped in the elevator with no way to escape or call for help.
Emergency services were called to the house to free the cleaning lady after the owners returned home and realized that she was stranded in the elevator. Marites was taken to a nearby hospital and accompanied by a member of the Stephens family and is recovering. It was not immediately known what caused the private elevator located in the $20 million home to stop suddenly between floors and trap Marites. It has been reported that the elevator was examined in October 2017 by New York City inspectors where unspecified defects were discovered. The elevator was ruled safe to use and has been active since that time. Another inspection was set for October 2018 and the results of that inspection are not known.
A statement regarding this incident was released by the Stephens family said “The employee involved has been a valued member of the Stephens extended family for 18 years. The Stephens family is relieved and thankful that she is doing well in the hospital. The cause of this unfortunate incident is being investigated and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again.”
Elevator accidents account for a huge number of injuries each year and can even be fatal. The most common types of accidents include sudden elevator drops and crashes, people getting caught in the automatic doors, people trying to escape when the elevator has stopped at a misaligned point, and people becoming trapped inside. Reports show that about 27 people are killed each year in elevator accidents on average and more than 10,000 people are injured in elevators annually with more than half of those requiring hospital treatment.
When it comes to elevator accidents it is typical that some portion of liability lies with the owner or manager of the building. In the case of private homes and commercial buildings, the owner is responsible for ensuring that the machinery is properly maintained and inspected, and is in good working order. Depending on the situation, a manufacturer, installation company, maintenance company, or inspector, may share some portion of fault.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when they refuse to follow the law. We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 80 years of experience in our plaintiff’s only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!






Guenard & Bozarth llp obtained a $2,962,903 jury verdict in the Sacramento County Superior Court for plaintiff David Schoonover, who suffered head and neck injuries and fractures in a head-on accident on Roseville Road in Roseville on July 22, 2012




Guenard & Bozarth LLP recently settled a case for $300,000 involving a hair weave that went terribly wrong. Our client was a young lady, and aspiring model, who experienced pressure necrosis from a tight weave and it changed her life.




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