Otis Elevator complaint blames contractors in Fenway fall
Woman dropped 25 feet into shaft after Sox game
The elevator contractor being sued over a New Jersey woman’s fall down a Fenway Park elevator shaft last year has filed a complaint alleging that responsibility lies with the company that installed the elevator and food service employees who may have damaged it.
Elisabeth A. Scotland plunged about 25 feet down the shaft onto the top of an elevator car on May 16, 2014, after attending a Red Sox game.
In a lawsuit filed in December against the team’s parent company, Fenway Sports Group, and the contractor, Otis Elevator Co., Scotland’s lawyers stated the fall caused severe injuries, from which she is still recuperating. Her lawyers allege that the cause of the fall was an improperly maintained elevator hoistway, or outer door that gave way when Scotland, then 22, made “casual contact” with it.
But on Feb. 18, lawyers for Otis Elevator filed a third-party complaint in Suffolk Superior Court against Schindler Elevator Corp. and Aramark Services Inc.
Schindler Elevator, the complaint states, “designed, constructed and installed” the elevator in question, as well as “maintained, inspected, serviced, operated, and controlled” it until March 2014. Otis Elevator alleges Schindler was negligent in maintaining the elevator, leading to the injuries Scotland suffered.
In an e-mail Tuesday night, Schindler defended its work.
“Schindler finds the third party lawsuit against it to be without merit and we fully intend to vigorously defend ourselves,” the corporation said.
The third-party complaint further alleges that employees of Aramark, the food and beverage vendor for Fenway Park for years, including 2013 and 2014, “repeatedly damaged the elevator’s cars and/or hoistway doors.”
That damage occurred while employees were transporting food or equipment, the complaint alleges.
A spokesman for Aramark said Tuesday night he was unable to comment on pending litigation.
The initial lawsuit, a civil complaint, stated that Scotland fell through the door on the fourth floor of the ballpark as she waited with her family for the elevator car.
“The elevator door was inadequately installed, improperly maintained . . . and exposed Scotland to a fall hazard that should never occur,” the lawsuit said.
A spokeswoman for the Red Sox, Zineb Curran, speaking on behalf of the team and Fenway Sports Group, declined to comment Tuesday on the pending litigation. John Henry, principal owner of both entities, also owns The Boston Globe.
“We continue to wish Elisabeth Scotland well with her recovery,” Curran wrote in an e-mail.
Scotland was hospitalized for several weeks for injuries including traumatic brain injury, facial and spinal fractures, and lung contusions. She will suffer physical and mental impairment for the rest of her life, the lawsuit stated.
Scotland’s lawsuit, which does not specify a monetary amount being sought, said she has incurred well over $250,000 in medical expenses, and that the costs will grow.
Legal representation for Scotland was unable to be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Otis Elevator’s complaint alleges any damages Scotland may be found to have incurred are due to negligence on the part of Schindler and Aramark.