Paperwork isn’t usually something you think of as life and death, but according to new reports, that incredibly scary recent elevator fatality could have been prevented if the building’s management had filed the necessary paperwork. The accident, which took the life of 41-year-old Suzanne Hart, was at first described as a “freak accident.” DNA Info now reports that, in fact, building inspectors might very well have caught the problem if they had been called in one last time for a final sign-off following repair work.
STransel Elevator Inc. did not inform the DOB that it had completed work at 285 Madison Ave. last month. That mandatory notification — a standard requirement of all city permits — would have triggered a final, independent inspection of the elevator by the city before it could carry passengers.
“In this case we believe the accident would have been prevented if the Department of Buildings had been notified as required,” a source said.
Somehow that’s not actually more comforting than the nihilistic version of the story where nothing could have been done. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is reportedly considering whether to press criminal charges.