1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


Maybe December 15, 2001 wasn't Lilia Paz's lucky day.
After checking in at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Ms. Paz elected to take one of the hotel's escalators to reach her room. As she was transported upward, the moving stairs suddenly stopped, causing the woman to fall forward and injure her right shoulder. (Ms. Paz sustained a rotator-cuff tear, which required arthroscopic surgery.)
In August of 2002, a personal-injury action was commenced against the Casino and Otis Elevator Company. In her complaint, Ms. Paz alleged various negligence theories, including the failure to inspect and repair the escalator and to maintain it in a reasonably safe and usable condition.
After some preliminary motion practice, the New York County Supreme Court dismissed Ms. Paz's case finding, in effect, no negligence. Last week, good fortune prevailed and the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the dismissal and concluded there were unanswered questions about whether "defective or dangerous" conditions existed and whether the casino and elevator company had notice of those conditions. So, with a roll of the dice, Ms. Paz's case was reinstated and, if not settled, may proceed to trial.
Anyone willing to wager whether there's a "jackpot" in Ms. Paz's future?
For a copy of the Appellate Division's decision in this case, please click on this link:
[Originally a trademark of the Otis Elevator Company, "escalator" was derived by combining the Latin word for steps, 'scala', and the word 'elevator'. In 1950, after the company failed to police usage, trademark protections were lost and the word "escalator" became a generic term.]