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Otis Elevator Company Faces Lawsuit

The parents of 38-year-old Robert Khodadadian, who was fatally electrocuted while working on an high rise elevator in 2015, filed a lawsuit against Otis Elevator Co. on Monday. The grieving parents are alleging that the defendants violated their own policy by allowing a third-party contractor to work on the equipment alone.

The victim was found in the elevator machine room of the Wells Fargo Center on Grand Avenue on August 15, 2015.

According to lawsuit documents, the Khodadadian family owned an elevator-repair business called R.J. Electric. The family-owned business had done previous work with Otis Elevator Company and was aware that the company had a policy mandating that one of its employees be present when a third-party company did repair work on an Otis elevator.

R.J. Electric was contracted to refurbish an Otis elevator in the Wells Fargo Center, starting with cleaning work on August 14, 2015, and varnish spraying the next day, the suit states. Two Otis employees arrived at 8:45 am on the specified morning to oversee Robert Khodadadian apply varnish to the Otis elevator. However, the Otis employees left approximately 20 minutes later, complaining that the shellac’s odor was overpowering.

Robert Khodadadian was found on his knees and unresponsive less than an hour after the employees left the building. He was pronounced dead at 10:25 am, the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege wrongful death, negligence and premises liability and seeks unspecified damages.

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