A Civil District Court in New Orleans has issued a $2 million award to three individuals involved in an elevator accident. The incident happened at the Louisiana Superdome in 2007 during a Saints game. Earlier in the litigation case, the judge ruled that a $500,000 liability cap was not applicable, which paved the way for the larger, multi-million dollar award.
The plaintiffs in this case were three women who were riding in an elevator with 15 others at the Louisiana Superdome in 2007. According to witnesses, the elevator began to fall until crashing against the bottom floor. The three female plaintiffs in this case suffered injuries including: knee damage, neck injury, rotator cuff tear, disc bulge, nerve compression, herniated disc and leg injury. All three plaintiffs required surgeries.
Elevator Maintenance Company Not to Blame
Because the elevator was in working order, and it was the over-capacity issue that led to its fall, the judge dismissed the elevator repair company and blamed the Superdome's management company for the accident. The judge said that the management organization failed to adequately train its attendants and ushers, who were not informed about elevator capacities. The management organization also failed to train its ushers to prevent elevator overcrowding.
The case was decided by a single judge instead of a jury, and the judge decided that the elevator had been overloaded beyond capacity and this was what caused it to malfunction. The plaintiffs are to receive different shares of the $2 million verdict depending on the extent of their lost wages, medical costs and pain and suffering stemming from the incident.
Personal Injury Claims Can Help Victims without Insurance
This case is an excellent example of how victims who are injured -- due to no fault of their own -- can hold negligent parties responsible to pay for their medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages resulting from an accident. Considering that many individuals in the United States go about their lives without any kind of health insurance, the price of medical care following a serious accident could be financially crippling or simply too expensive for them to get treatment. As such, a successfully navigated personal injury claim is not just about justice -- it is also about getting injured victims the medicine they require to fully recover from their injuries.
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