Atlanta Student Crushed In Fatal Elevator Accident
JauMarcus McFarland, a student and football player who had just moved from Missouri to Atlanta to play for Champion Prep Academy, was tragically killed in a terrifying accident. McFarland was living in a building with his teammates on Highland Avenue Northeast and the incident occurred there when 16 of them piled onto the building’s elevator and things began to go wrong.
According to witnesses and other people on the elevator, about 16 of them piled on. Firefighters on the scene noted that the maximum allowable weight for the elevator was 3,000 pounds, and that with the number of people on the elevator at the time, they had exceeded the weight by approximately 1,000 pounds. However, it’s not clear if the elevator was in good working condition otherwise, as its inspections were not up to date, and had not been since its permits expired in August of 2020.
According to witnesses, after everyone got on the elevator it began moving up before the doors had even closed. One woman said it was “off,” and “wasn’t like it was normally running.” As the elevator continued moving up with the doors wide open several passengers were able to jump out safely. However, when JauMarcus went to jump out of the elevator he became pinned. Witnesses said that they were holding the doors open for JauMarcus to jump through. The elevator had moved up, but then stopped, they said, so he attempted to jump. However, as he attempted to jump the elevator began to move up again, and he became pinned by the elevator and was crushed by it for over an hour while rescuers worked to get him out. When rescuers removed him from the elevator shaft he was still alive but had a weak pulse. He was immediately transported to the hospital, however, he did not survive his injuries.
Could the Building Be Sued?
While the police have not yet made an official statement as to who is liable and no charges have been brought, JauMarcus’ parents have hired lawyers and are conducting a private investigation into the accident. There are, however, a number of signs that point to the building being held accountable. The biggest indicator of negligence on the part of the building is the expired elevator permit. Because Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, the overloading of the elevator may also be considered as negligence on the part of the injured party. This would not be a block to recovering unless the jury found that the boys overloading the elevator was more than 50% responsible for causing what has now been classified as an elevator collapse.
Schedule a Consultation with an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in an Atlanta elevator accident, you do not have to navigate the legal process alone. Serving Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and the greater Georgia area, Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys are ready to fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Call today to schedule your free consultation with our Cobb County personal injury attorneys.