Disabled Tenants Sue City Over Elevators
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
New York, NY —
Disabled tenants say New York City's public housing agency is violating their rights by failing to properly maintain elevators. They announced a federal class-action lawsuit against the city. Phyllis Gonzalez lives on the 12th floor of the Chelsea Houses and relies on a wheelchair.
GONZALEZ: If anything happens to me that's fine, I mean, that's life, but, not because I can't get in the elevator to get to the hospital. I don't want that to be one of the things I have to worry about.
Gonzalez is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Tenants of public housing are not asking for money; they want the New York City Housing Authority to fix their elevators, and maintain them. The issue of elevator maintenance first drew public attention last August, when a five-year-old boy died trying to escape from a stalled elevator. A spokesman for the Housing Authority would not comment on the legal action but said the agency is planning to unveil an elevator overhaul plan in the coming weeks.