Friday, October 05, 2007

Emotional Harm

will result from reading the following:

Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (John Barone, J.), entered on or about February 22, 2001, which denied so much of defendant Millar Elevator Industries' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint as it pertains to plaintiff Castro, unanimously reversed, on the law, without costs, and the motion granted. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of defendant-appellant dismissing the complaint as against it.

Plaintiffs Julia Pizarro and Maricela Castro witnessed an elevator malfunction that resulted in the decapitation of nonparty James Chenault, who was not previously known to either plaintiff. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint as it pertained to plaintiff Pizarro on the ground that she was not in the elevator at the time of the incident. However, the court declined to dismiss the claim of plaintiff Castro, reasoning that, as one of the five passengers in the faulty elevator, she was within the zone of danger.

At her deposition, Ms. Castro testified that, after she boarded the elevator on the main floor, it began descending while a woman was still getting on. The elevator then reversed direction and, as it moved upwards with the doors still open, she saw that the man subsequently identified as James Chenault was standing in the door frame. As the top of the elevator hit the top of his head, plaintiff turned away. When she heard a woman scream, she looked down and saw Mr. Chenault's head next to her feet. After a rapid ascent, the elevator subsequently descended very quickly, slowing down only when it reached the third floor and eventually stopping on the first floor. Although physically unharmed, plaintiff Castro was treated for shock. The complaint alleges that she continues to suffer psychological symptoms as a result of her experience.

The horrific nature of this accident is self-evident. However, as defendant contended on the motion, the complaint should have been dismissed because plaintiff Castro was not closely related to the decedent.

My textbook informs me that the decedent's headphones remained attached to his head.


Blogger Robot said...

Could they discern what he was listening to? If I was decapitated by an elevator, I'd definitely want to go to heaven listening to Hendrix. Any one else have opinion on this?

12:40 AM  
Blogger Austin 5-000 said...

lolz at "I'd definitely want to go to heaven"

12:40 PM  

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