Elevating Irony: Two Elevator Mishaps Prove Poignant Points

200px-Sabbath_elevatorElevators were at the center to two ironic stories this week.  The first, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s two-day visit to Miami to discuss the challenges for public housing.  His most immediate challenge was getting out of the elevator at the Courtside Family Apartments in Overtown.  In the meantime in England, Australian tourists Browyn and Graham Cowan went to Court after suing over an elevator mishap with the Tower Bridge.  They then missed their court date because . . .  you guessed it . . . the court elevator trapped them.

The Cowans were in an elevator at the Tower Bridge when it fell 10 feet and crashed at the bottom.  Mrs Cowan, 63, fractured both ankles and a big toe and says that she has lasting trauma over the incident.  That trauma is allegedly the cause of her becoming “hyper-vigilant of mechanical sounds.”

She went to court to pursue her £300,000 claim against the City of London Corporation, which owns Tower Bridge, and two contractors.  However, on the first day of the trial Mrs. Cowan suffered a panic attack when the court elevator became stuck.

Her lawyer asked the court for extra time after explaining that “My client was briefly stuck in the lift and suffered a very unpleasant reaction.”

In Carson’s case, he is the management to complain to about the elevators in public housing.  He was on his way down to meet Miami Heat basketball legend Alonzo Mourning. Mourning created the nonprofit AM Affordable Housing to develop the property.  First, however, the Miami-Dade fire rescue team had to free the HUD Secretary.
At least Carson can claim to have skillfully located problems on his walking tour and scheduled improvements.

10 thoughts on “Elevating Irony: Two Elevator Mishaps Prove Poignant Points

  1. I greatly dislike confined spaces. Getting stuck in an elevator, let alone having one crash 10 feet, would be highly unpleasant. I had to keep taking calming breaths when I climbed the cupola at St Peter’s Dome. Unfortunately, I was stuck behind an elderly lady with a walker. Why the hell did they let an elderly lady with a walker begin the steps? It was take one step. Wait. And Wait. Take one step. And wait. And wait. Meanwhile, the air was close and the walls literally, not figuratively, got narrower, and the steps got shallower and tilted. At one point the walls themselves curved. Argh. I had to look out the narrow slits cut in the wall and pretend I was out on the roof among fluffy clouds. I whispered to my sister that for the love of God we had better beat her to the downward stairs. I had to fight the urge to just pick her up and carry her, because I probably would have just bumped her poor head on the really really ridiculously narrow passageway walls. (Yes, that was why I didn’t snatch her up in a panic. Not because it would be rude or an invasion of space. I was way past that, having just discovered that I had claustrophobia. Who knew?) Michelangelo spent too much time in his own works and apparently lost all touch with reality for how the rest of us would view this trip.

    I never understood the appointment of Ben Carson, whom I do admire, to HUD. It doesn’t seem to fit his expertise. If one didn’t have HUD experience, you would think that at least managerial or logistical expertise would be required. I do like Ben Carson in other areas, however, so I’ll be happy if I’m wrong.

    I wonder about the circumstances of poor Mrs Cowan’s mishap. Did the Tower fail to maintain or inspect the elevator, or was it just a spontaneous failure? Please don’t tell me it’s a spontaneous failure.

  2. Regulations for inspecting elevators have probably been cancelled by the current administration. By cancelling those regulations more jobs are created – in the medical and legal fields.

  3. As for the Crown case, they should get triple damages being caught in the elevator twice. For Ben Carson, it was a lesson learned and he can put it on his checklist for repairs. Probably, the best thing that happened to the building. 🙂

  4. After you get stuck in an elevator you have something in common with astronauts: You are happy when you are down and out.

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