Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Settlement reached in suit alleging woman injured when elevator suddenly stopped

By Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro | Apr 18, 2017

Old Post Office Pavillion, Washington DC | Steve Snodgrass, taken 10/16/09

EAST ST. LOUIS — A settlement was reached in a nursing home employee's suit alleging she was injured in an elevator when it abruptly stopped and caused her to fall. 

The undisclosed settlement was reached on Jan. 25, but Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams dismissed the suit with prejudice and without costs on April 4 after the court took time to process the settlement. 

Oak Hill Nursing Home employee Janet Layne of Randolph County filed the lawsuit in 2015 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St Louis against Otis Elevator Company. 

In her complaint, she claimed she was traveling down an Otis elevator in 2011 inside the Magnolia Terrace assisted living facility when it allegedly abruptly stopped and threw her against the side of the elevator. The incident allegedly caused her to fall to the floor and suffer "severe and permanent injuries and disfigurement" that required medical care. 

Layne alleged Otis failed to properly maintain and repair the elevator, failed to properly train its employees to service it correctly and failed to protect those using the elevator. 

She sought a judgment in her favor of $100,000, plus costs of the suit. 

On separate occasions, incorrect and missing documents were filed in the case, which kept it from moving forward, according to background information provided in the order, including the defense being asked to file a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure disclosure and the plaintiff being allowed to file an amended complaint. 

Both parties had to refile separate documents because the incorrect filing type was selected, the incorrect document was attached or none was attached at all. 

The case was administrated via telephone conference except on one occasion when the plaintiff’s attorney filed a motion to appear.

After settlement was reached, Williams ordered the case to be dismissed in 60 days to give the court time to process the settlement. 

Layne was represented by Stephen Buser of the Law Offices of Stephen Buser and James O'Leary of the Onder Law Firm.

Thomas Plunkert of Leritz Plunkert in St. Louis represented Otis. 

East St. Lewis County District Court case number 15-cv-00903-SCW  

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