Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure

Notice of one defect in elevator mechanics is insufficient to prove notice of other defects, leading to summary judgment for defendants.

July 1, 2017
McDaid v. Aztec West Condo. Ass’n, 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 825 (App. Div. April 5, 2017)

The plaintiff sued a condominium association and elevator maintenance company after a defective “electric eye” (used to detect people and objects in the doorway of the elevator) allegedly caused the plaintiff to be struck by the elevator doors, causing injury. The plaintiff argued that the defendants had notice of the electric eye’s malfunction because, just weeks prior, he had alerted the defendants that the “closing speed” of the doors was improper. The plaintiff also argued that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applied. The Appellate Division found that the plaintiff’s expert failed to link concerns regarding door speed with defects found in the electric eye; therefore, notice of closing door speed issues did not necessarily constitute notice of a possible electric eye issue. Additionally, the elevator company’s principal testified that he had never seen this kind of defect before and, therefore, had no notice of its existence prior to the accident. The court also rejected the plaintiff’s res ipsa loquitur argument, finding that the doctrine does not apply where a device such as an electric eye could be “subject to failure from time to time totally unrelated to negligence.” The court’s holding emphasizes, among other things, the importance of proper recordkeeping of complaints by specifically identifying defects as they arise. 

 

Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2017

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2017 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

Affiliated Attorney

Richard J. Halmo
Associate
(973) 618-4129
rjhalmo@mdwcg.com

Practice Areas

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."