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Busted Escalator in WTC Oculus Causes Riders Lifelong Injuries, Suit Says

By Maya Rajamani | September 25, 2017 1:51pm
 The escalator buckled as the men were on it inside the Greenwich Street transit hub, officials said.
The escalator buckled as the men were on it inside the Greenwich Street transit hub, officials said.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Two men suffered permanent injuries earlier when an escalator inside the World Trade Center Oculus malfunctioned and sent them crashing to the ground, a new lawsuit charges.

Ruslan Kipeev and David Godibadze were riding the escalator around 7 a.m. on April 27 when it “malfunctioned, disassembled and buckled,” claims the suit filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday.

The pair fell onto the escalator and landing with "hard impacts," sustaining “serious and permanent injuries,” the lawsuit says.

At the time of the incident, officials said the men walked out of the transit hub to an ambulance and were taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital for treatment.

The suit names both the Port Authority, which operates the transit hub, and Otis Elevator Company, which maintains the escalator. 

The suit claims the escalator wouldn’t have malfunctioned if the Port Authority had inspected and maintained it beforehand, adding that the agency knew or should have known about its “hazardous and dangerous operating condition” prior to the incident.

Otis Elevator Company, meanwhile, “defectively manufactured and/or installed” the escalator, the suit claims.

Kipeev and Godibadze are seeking unspecified damages for their injuries, according to the suit. Their attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Otis Elevator Company said the firm would not comment on ongoing litigation.

A spokesman for the Port Authority declined to comment on the suit.