Fall Down Elevator Shaft

St. Louis City Circuit Court, Case No. 52-cv-342

On her second day of work, BI was instructed to use a freight elevator to move merchandise between floors.  The elevator's wooden slat door had not been functioning properly for some time.  The elevator had not been inspected by the City of St. Louis for some time.  BI opened the door to the elevator and, while trying to place a 2x2x8 under the door to keep it raised, she took a step into what she believed was the elevator car.  Unfortunately for BI, the door to the elevator could be opened even with the elevator car not present.  No one told BI about this.  She stepped into space and fell into the elevator concrete pit on her head, suffering multiple major injuries.  Witzel and Dimmitt tried the matter and the Court found that BI suffered severe, permanent injuries and awarded her $4,000,000.  Additionally, the Court found that the defendant's conduct warranted the imposition of punitive damages in the amount of $2,000,000.