Woman dies using homemade mobility lift
A 66-year-old disabled woman was the victim of a fatal accident in a Florida home after she was crushed by a mobility lift. The woman had been visiting the three-story home at the time of the accident. Official reports show that acquaintances noticed something was amiss when she missed a gathering with her friend.
Official reports confirm the woman was crushed to death by the lift, which was used to travel between the home's upper floors. The lift appears to have been a modified forklift that provided access to the third story of the house. The owner of the home installed the lift during the 1990s when he first constructed the house. Sadly, Florida law does not require inspection to operate lifts and elevators in private homes. A cursory investigation after this accident revealed that the elevator lacked critical safety switches that might have been able to prevent such a tragedy.
The woman was reportedly visiting the homeowners when she was killed. Both of the homeowners were away at the time of the accident, although they had set the lift up for the woman's use because of her mobility issues. So far, police officers do not suspect foul play. This event seems to be purely accidental.
Still, the two homeowners could face premises liability claims in connection with the woman's death, primarily because they could be considered negligent in failing to maintain the mobility lift in a safe fashion. Owners of homes and apartment buildings could be the targets of claims for wrongful death, along with pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consort and even funeral expenses from the decedent's relatives. These family members should consider seeking the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney in Florida in order to learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities. The homeowners in this case should be held responsible by civil court for their friend's demise.
Source: www.tampabay.com, "Woman crushed by homemade lift in Weeki Wachee" Tony Marrero & Alison Barnwell, Jul. 25, 2013