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An Essex property management firm has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000 after a resident of one of its properties died after becoming trapped in a lift.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Craig Jones, a 29 year old resident of Marsden House in Bolton was trapped in the lift with his friend. When the lift stopped there was no way for the two men to raise the alarm, and so they tried to rescue themselves by forcing open the doors and sliding underneath. Tragically, during the rescue attempt, Mr Jones slipped under the lift car and fell five stories down the lift shaft. He died from multiple injuries.

When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident they found that Warwick Estates Property Management Ltd – the company responsible for the management of the building – had failed to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent the need for people to self-rescue. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

After the hearing, Sarah Taylor; the HSE inspector on the case said: “Those who manage lifts have a responsibility to ensure they are properly maintained but if people are trapped they have a way to raise the alarm and are not in a position to try and rescue themselves. The problems with this lift were well known and if Warwick Estates Property Management Ltd had fulfilled their health and safety responsibilities Craig Jones would probably be around to celebrate Christmas with his family this weekend.”

If you or someone you care for has suffered as a result of a trip, slip or fall from height whilst on private property, it is quite possible that you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Just like employers, landlords and property management companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors to their locations, and that includes making sure that facilities such as lifts are properly maintained and have suitable procedures in place in case of break downs or faults.

Our team of highly trained solicitors is on hand now to answer any queries you might have about making a claim. They have years of experience in handling cases like these, and it will cost you nothing to discuss your case with them. You are under no obligation to continue with a claim if you do no wish to, so contact us today to see how we can help you get the payout you deserve.