Elevator passengers settle lawsuit

Two women who claimed to have fallen about 11 stories while inside a malfunctioning elevator in Irvine have settled a lawsuit against the elevator manufacturer and the Irvine Co.

Janet Hsu and her mother, Sufeir Hsu, reached a confidential settlement with ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. and the Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. last month, according to court records.

According to their claim, filed June 22, 2011, the two were aboard an elevator inside the Irvine Co.-owned high-rise business complex at 1 Park Plaza. Suddenly, after reaching the 11th or 12th floor, the elevator lost control and dropped to below the first floor, according to the court papers.

The Hsus said they suffered injuries and emotional trauma, and also objected to being forced to wait an hour for a repairman to open the stuck doors.

They claimed that amounted to false imprisonment, according to an article in the Orange County Register, which also included a statement from the Irvine Co.: "The safety of our office customers and their guests is our No. 1 priority."

A state spokesman told the Orange County Register at the time that all seven elevators at 1 Park Plaza passed inspections before and after the incident.

—Jon Cassidy

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