Lawyers withdraw case against one company named in elevator death suit

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Moules -
Despite problems at the Luzerne County prison, County Council Chairwoman Linda McClosky Houck says it’s ‘premature’ to talk about any plan to build a new facility. (Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader) -

WILKES-BARRE — The estates of a Luzerne County correctional officer who died after falling down an elevator shaft and the inmate who fell with him have dropped their suit against one of the companies involved with the technical aspects of the elevator.

Kristopher Moules, 25, died July 18, 2016, during an altercation outside the elevator with inmate Timothy Darnell Gilliam Jr., 27. Gilliam fell backwards and hit the elevator door, which buckled open, pulling Moules down the shaft with him as he fell.

The men fell from the fifth to the top of the elevator car, a total of 59 feet, leading to both of their deaths.

Moules’ estate filed a suit against four companies involved in the construction and maintenance of elevators in February 2017.

Those companies include Schindler Elevator Corp., who were under contract with the county to maintain the elevator; Inventio AG, a subsidiary of Schindler that supplied parts; Otis Elevator Co. which designed and installed the elevator; and Nagle Elevator Inspection and Testing LLC, who were required to perform periodic inspections of the elevator.

But it would appear that at least part of the suit isn’t going any further in light of two new filings made in county court on Monday.

In a stipulation signed by attorneys for the estate and all named defendants, the suit was dropped. The stipulation says that “all claims against the Otis Elevator Company are withdrawn and Otis Elevator Company is hereby dismissed from this litigation with prejudice and without costs to any party.”

Luzerne County Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. signed an order approving the withdrawal of the claims against the Otis Elevator Company and its dismissal.

The filings do not make clear whether the company had reached a settlement with the estates. Nor is the fate of the suits against the remaining defendants obvious.

Lawyers representing the parties could not be reached Monday afternoon.

Moules
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_web1_web1_moulesCMYK-1-1.jpgMoules

Despite problems at the Luzerne County prison, County Council Chairwoman Linda McClosky Houck says it’s ‘premature’ to talk about any plan to build a new facility. (Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_lccf03-3.jpgDespite problems at the Luzerne County prison, County Council Chairwoman Linda McClosky Houck says it’s ‘premature’ to talk about any plan to build a new facility. (Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader)

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan