A fitness trainer who was badly injured in a freak elevator accident in November has filed a lawsuit against the landlord of his building and two elevator companies—and, yup, one of the companies is Transel, whom you may recall from such horrifying elevator accidents as the woman who was crushed to death at her Madison Avenue office building last month. Corey Hill, a dancer and beloved fitness trainer known for his high energy and enthusiasm, saw his life radically change on November 11th after he stepped onto the elevator in his midtown west apartment building and pressed the button for the lobby. That's when the car started free-falling.
"[It was] the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life," Hill, 34, tells the Post. "I’ve sky-dived and done other things in my life, but I’ve never been scared like that." The elevator then jerked to a stop, and Hill thought he was going to be okay. The property manager tells the Daily News that Hill "spoke with the concierge afterward. He said he did not need medical or police attention. No ambulance was called."
But the next day, Hill awoke to find that he could barely walk, and soon lost most of the feeling in his legs. He was diagnosed with paresis, in which the brain doesn’t communicate with the legs properly, and was at Beth Israel for over two weeks. He now needs braces to get around, and according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the News, Hill is so afraid of taking the elevator that he relies on bodybuilder friends to carry him up 26 flights to his apartment!
Hill is suing the property manager, Century Vertical Systems and Transel Elevator, which had been working on an elevator just before the horrifying accident that killed a Madison Avenue ad executive last month. He's been unemployed since the accident, has fallen behind on his rent, and says his landlord has begun eviction proceedings. According to the property manager, his lawsuit "is without merit and we have video evidence that confirms it." (A spokesman for Transel tells us, "While Transel Elevators may have been named in that lawsuit, they have not done work on the elevators in that building since April 1, 2010.")
But Hill is still undergoing physical therapy, and it's unclear if he'll be able to walk again without assistance, let alone lead one of his beloved exercise dance classes. One of Hill's students tells us, "I have attended Corey's classes at Equinox weekly for the past five years, and benefited tremendously from both his method and upbeat perspective. We are all devastated by Corey's accident and miss him dearly. His life's work was dance and fitness, both of which have now been taken from him, as he is no longer teaching. Transel should be shut down."
Last month Hill sent an email out to everyone who has taken his classes vowing, "Those of you who know me, know I am strong and ALWAYS push the limits and NEVER sit and wait for things to come to me. I only know the word CAN and not cannot. I WILL get through this and be back KICKN ASS in a NY minute!"