A new law has taken effect in North Carolina in response to child elevator accident deaths in that state and elsewhere across the United States. The North Carolina child elevator safety legislation is christened Weston’s Law. The law is names after Weston Androw, a 7-year-old boy who lost his life in a tragic North Carolina elevator accident.
Weston was on vacation from Ohio in North Carolina in July 2021. He and his family were staying at a vacation rental that included an elevator in the premises. The boy ended up trapped between the elevator car and the elevator shaft in the vacation rental home on the Outer Banks.
Emergency rescue workers were relatively quick to arrive at the scene. They were able to free Weston from the elevator and shaft. However, they were unable to resuscitate the boy and he was pronounced dead.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper spoke about the purpose of the law when he signed it into effect:
This law requires much-needed safety measures for elevators in short-term rentals, and while this action sadly can’t reverse the tragedy that killed Weston Androw, it does mean better protection to prevent future injuries and deaths.
In the aftermath of Weston’s tragic death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning that required owners of residences that were used as vacation rental property to disable home elevators. Effected vacation property platforms include:
In addition, homeowners who independently provide their residences as vacation rentals without the use of a third-party apps were also warned and directed to disable home elevators.
Acting Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Robert Alder urged the companies in a letter to disable the elevators, describing how children “some as young as two, and as old as 12, have been crushed to death” by getting trapped in the gap between inner and outer doors of residential elevators. While several deaths have occurred, “others have suffered devastating and lifelong injuries,” according to the Chairman.
If you child has been injured or killed in an elevator accident, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can reach our firm any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000.
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