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NYC Woman Jumps Into Apt. Trash Compactor To Get Into Her Apartment

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A 30-year-old attorney who worked for a law firm in Manhattan has lived in an apartment located in Chelsea on West 21st Street. She lived on the first floor of the building. Chelsea is a neighborhood that stretches from around 14th Street to 30th Street, along the west side of Manhattan.

On Saturday, October 27, 2012, this attorney returned to her Chelsea apartment early in the morning at about 6:00am after a night of partying and drinking. Upon arriving at home, she realized that she gave her apartment keys to a friend. Therefore, she was not able to enter her apartment and at the time, did not believe she had access to another set of keys. 

She apparently rang the bell to several apartments inside the building hoping that someone would then let her into the building. She was unsuccessful, so she decided to find another way to enter the building. 

She devised a plan where she would slide into the trash chute which would allow her to gain access to the basement of the building. Once she got in the basement, she would go through the cellar and enter the building’s garden, where she would then be able to open a window in her own apartment and climb inside.


She entered the trash chute with her hands first, but “her arm got caught in the compactor, triggering a motion detector.” The motion detector began to move, and “a piston crushed her arm, cutting almost all the way through.”

At least seventeen firefighters responded and arrived on the scene. Firefighters turned off the power so that the compactor in the trash chute would stop moving. Firefighters were finally able to remove her from the gruesome scene an hour later and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital for emergency surgery.


The NY Post article describes the attorney as drunk when this happened. 

You have to ask yourself, "What the heck was she thinking when she went in hands-first in the trash compactor" trying to get into the basement? Just imagine what would have happened if she went in head first!

The more interesting point would be if she tried to sue the building owner and manager claiming that the trash compactor was operated improperly and was too large, allowing a person to jump in. Maybe she'd claim that the building owner should have had warning signs on the chute claiming that the trash compactor wasn't a toy and adult attorneys shouldn't try and jump into them trying to get into the basement.

On the other hand, the defense would clearly argue that it's not reasonable to believe that anyone, including an inebrieted attorney, would ever try to enter a garbage chute for any reason except to throw their garbage out.

That's a case I'd really like to see.

Category: General

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

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