The civil justice attorneys at Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, LLP have filed suit against the Ohio State University over the death of freshman, Andrew K. Polakowski, who was crushed to death by a dormitory elevator on October 20, 2006. While descending with students inside, the elevator unexpectedly stopped with its doors open in between floors. Andrew attempted to exit the elevator and was crushed when it began descending once again. Andrew’s parents, Kazimierz and Janina, claim the school was negligent in maintaining, inspecting, repairing, and operating the elevator in Stradley Hall.
The suit, filed in the Ohio Court of Claims, alleges the elevator had a faulty brake, an inadequate counterweight, a disconnected load-weighing device, no overload warning system, and no adequate safety device to keep it from falling if the brake failed or should the doors open.
After Andrew’s death, the Ohio Department of Commerce, a state entity which monitors the safety of elevators in Columbus, Ohio, tested the elevator and determined it would not hold the weight (3,1250 lbs.) it was supposed to. Furthermore, the Department of Commerce concluded the main brake of the elevator failed.
Andrew, age 18, was the Polakowskis’ only son. The family lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with Andrew’s three sisters.
The Complaint initiating the suit can be read at www.cco.state.oh.us by clicking on "civil cases" and then "case information."