Posted by Arlin Crisco on Dec 16, 2022 2:43:46 PM
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West Palm Beach, FL— Jurors Monday handed down a $6 million verdict and found a mall owner largely responsible for the traumatic brain injury a Florida man says he suffered when he was struck by an elevator ceiling panel. Rayment v. Mizner Park Venture, LLC, 2017-CA-007543.
The Florida 15th Circuit Court jury, in Palm Beach County, found Mizner Park Venture LLC, owner of Boca Raton’s Mizner Park shopping mall, 70% responsible for the 2017 elevator ceiling collapse that Daniel Rayment says left him with a traumatic brain injury. Jurors apportioned 30% of responsibility to Otis Elevator, which was not a defendant at trial. However, Rayment’s attorney, Shaked Law’s Cory Lapin, told CVN that the entire $6 million award will be recoverable from Mizner Park under the doctrine of non-delegable duty. 
Rayment was traveling in an elevator inside the mall’s parking garage when he said a ceiling panel collapsed, striking him in the head. The collapse, he says, left him a brain injury that causes him to suffer recurring seizures. 
During Monday’s closings, Rayment’s attorney, Shaked Law’s Sagi Shaked, requested roughly $26.1 million in damages. 
The trial turned largely on who was responsible for maintenance and security of the elevator ceiling panel. Mizner Park contends the ceiling panel also served as an emergency exit hatch, for which Otis Elevator was responsible under the terms of a maintenance contract. 
During Monday’s closings, Wilson Ellser’s Camille Blanton noted Otis and its mechanics were responsible for maintenance of the elevator’s exterior areas and that the panel was secured by multiple latches from above, or outside the elevator. “In order for that ceiling panel… to fall,” Blanton said, “all four safety mechanisms on top, which can only be accessed and maintained by elevator-certified mechanics, had to be unlocked.”
But Shaked argued that the ceiling panel was part of the internal passenger area of the elevator, for which Mizner Park itself was responsible. And he contended lack of proper communication within the company caused the elevator’s ceiling not to be properly monitored and secured. They didn’t have proper maintenance of the interior of the elevator,” Shaked said. “If they were using due care, that ceiling panel doesn’t fall.”
CVN has reached out to attorneys in the case and will update this article with their comments. 
Email Arlin Crisco at
Editor’s note: This article is updated to reflect attorney Cory Lapin’s statement that the entire award will be recoverable against Mizner Park. 
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Topics: Premises Liability, Florida, TBI, Rayment v. Mizner Park Venture

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