suzanne hart

City Finds Fault With Maintenance Company in Deadly Elevator Accident

The blame for the elevator accident death of advertising executive Suzanne Hart rests with the maintenance company who had worked on the elevator just minutes before the tragic accident, according to the city’s Department of Buildings and the Department of Investigations. As a result, the city has suspended the license of that company, Transel Elevator, and is seeking to have it revoked.

On the morning of December 14, 2011, repair workers finished their work on elevator nine at 285 Madison Avenue. They left the building at 9:55 a.m. At 9:56 a.m. Ms. Hart began to enter elevator nine and was pinned between floors when the elevator lurched upwards. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the NY Times, the elevator repair workers made three mistakes, mistakes which ultimately caused the elevator accident and Hart’s death:

  1. They failed to re-enable a safety circuit after they had completed their work. This circuit had been bypassed for their maintenance work to be completed.
  2. They did not call the Buildings Department for an inspection before putting the elevator back in service.
  3. They failed to post notice that the elevator was being worked on.

Had the safety circuit been re-enabled, there is a good chance Ms. Hart wouldn’t have lost her life in an elevator accident that morning. Continue reading


Criminal/Civil Cases Possible in Elevator-Death

A criminal investigation has been launched by the Manhattan District Attorney in the tragic elevator death of an advertising executive at Y&R. Suzanne Hart was killed when the elevator at Y&R’s Madison Avenue headquarters crushed her between the first and second floors on December 14.

Initial reports said there were no “safety issues” when the elevator was last inspected in June, 2011. But Tony Sclafani, a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings, said that there were many violations issued in the past but all were for “administrative or non-hazardous conditions.” In the aftermath, 11 violations were written against the building’s 13 elevators.

According to the New York Post, the only violation written against the elevator that killed Ms. Hart, was one regarding problems with paperwork. Other, “more serious” issues were found on the 25-story building’s other elevators. Continue reading