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Disabled Tenants Sue City Over Elevators

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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.

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