Uninspected Elevator Kills a Student-Athlete in Atlanta

Sep 8, 2021 | News

A young athlete was crushed to death in an elevator accident early last week in Atlanta. Jaumarcus McFarland, 19, lost his life when the 444 Suites Student Housing elevator failed and ended up pinning the young man between two floors. It is alleged that the elevator was months late for an inspection. The students had made numerous complaints, but the building’s management did not solve the matter.

“We knew something like this was going to happen one day but didn’t know it was going to take one of our teammate’s lives. He was our teammate, our brother, our closest friend,” Bryson Grove, Jaumarcus’ teammate, narrated to FOX 5’s Deidra Dukes. According to Bryson, the elevator has been having these issues since he moved into the residence.

Only adding to the travesty of the situation, the deceased had recently moved to Atlanta to attend the Champion Prep Academy to pursue his dreams.

Other residents had also complained over the same malfunctioning issue of the elevator. They were concerned over the matter, considering this was the only functioning elevator in the building. Despite the complaints, no action whatsoever was taken by the premises management.

The fire crews responded to the matter by arriving at the incident after 3 PM only to find the young athlete pinned between the second and third floors of the building. Jaumarcus was taken to Atlanta Medical Center, where he later died due to the severe injuries he obtained from the accident.

The elevator has been in use for quite some time after the other elevator on the premises broke down. On Wednesday, the State Insurance Commissioner’s office sent over some of its inspectors to look at the matter and determine why the elevator malfunctioned.

In a statement, the Commissioner’s spokesman confirmed that the elevator’s operating permit had expired last year on August 20th. He reported that they did not have any records showing a building owners’ request for their yearly inspection. Every building owner must ask for an annual inspection.

However, the property manager of the building, Nathan Phillips, claimed that the premises had passed the yearly inspection in August 2019 and wasn’t due until 2024. According to him, the elevator’s weight capacity is 3000 lbs, and when the incident occurred, it was occupied by 16 athletes who weighed about 4000 lbs combined. To him, this appears to be the reason behind the malfunction.

No matter what the facts are, one thing is clear: further investigation is necessary to ensure that Jaumarcus’s loved ones get the answers they deserve.

As a trusted Atlanta wrongful death lawyer with extensive experience getting to the bottom of catastrophic incidents like this, Roger Orlando of The Orlando Firm is committed to helping friends and family members obtain justice for the senseless loss of their loved ones. Our firm has won over $1 billion for our clients, a number that includes countless wrongful death claims stemming from inadequate maintenance of commercial or residential premises.

At The Orlando Firm, we are acutely aware of the obstacles commonly faced by surviving loved ones in their pursuit of justice and closure. When exorbitant and mounting medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income are added to the mix, the suffering of these families is insurmountable. When they come to us, our #1 priority is relieving them of this suffering to the fullest extent possible and ensuring that measures are taken to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.

Nobody should ever lose their life due to another person’s negligent, reckless, or malicious actions. It is evident that Jaumarcus lost his life due to unresolved malfunctions of the elevator, and it is our hope that his family gets the answers and compensation they not only deserve, but desperately need to move forward. If you know someone who lost their life in a similar situation, we encourage you to reach out to us today for a free consultation.