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Family of student killed in elevator to receive $1M

Ohio State agreed to pay $1 million to the family of Andrew Polakowski, a first-year student who died more than four years ago in an elevator accident in Stradley Hall, according to court documents.

Polakowski was on the residence-hall elevator on Oct. 20, 2006, when he was crushed trying to exit the elevator. The elevator fell from the third-floor lobby of the resident hall, and his body was trapped between the floor of the lobby and the ceiling of the elevator.

The Lantern reported on Nov. 1, 2006, that the elevator had a major brake failure and wasn’t safe to hold its maximum weight of 2,500 pounds.

The other 23 passengers on the elevator were not injured.

Polakowski, 18, was a first-year in pre-business. He was from Erie, Pa., and is survived by his parents and his three sisters.

In January 2009, Polakowski’s parents, Kazimierz and Janina, filed a suit against OSU in the Ohio Court of Claims. On March 22, 2011, the settlement was finalized in the court. In addition to the $1 million to the family, five third-party companies paid OSU as part of the settlement.

The companies that agreed to pay OSU include Otis Elevator Co., who will pay $387,500; Abell Elevator Service Co., who will pay $100,000; C&N Construction Services, Inc., who will pay $50,000; KONE Inc., who will pay $50,000; and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas & Co., who will pay $25,000.

With the money being paid to OSU from these companies, the university itself is paying $387,500 of its own money, the same amount as Otis Elevator Co.

Through the entire incident, Polakowski’s family never spoke publicly about the situation.


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