Residents of a Montrose senior home — all 65 years or older — now have access to all onsite elevators, following a months-long period where at least one elevator was offline.
On Friday, the Glendale City Attorney’s office dropped a criminal misdemeanor suit against property owner Elias Shokrian over the senior home’s elevator problems after a city inspector earlier this week found that both elevators were working.
In late May, dozens of seniors living in the Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments found themselves stranded, or nearly so, in their second- and third-floor units when the complex’s only functional elevator broke. The other onsite elevator had been broken for about seven months, since October 2018, when the incident occurred.
“This is what we’ve been looking for since the beginning,” Glendale’s Deputy City Atty. David Ligtenberg said after the brief hearing held at the Glendale Courthouse.
Shokrian pleaded not guilty to the charge that he violated the city’s building code, which requires that all mechanical devices on a property be operational.
The city inspector this week saw “no signs up, no indications of weird movements,” Ligtenberg said. “He rode both of them, and he was happy to see they both opened their doors when he pressed the button.”
“Both are working. Everything’s fine,” said Marie, manager of the senior home, on the phone after the most recent hearing. She declined to provide her last name.
According to Ligtenberg, it’s the city’s policy to seek compliance, rather than conviction, in building code violations.
Several tenants of the senior home are suing Shokrian in a separate civil suit, alleging elder abuse, age discrimination and negligence.
A hearing for the civil suit is set for this coming October. Shokrian previously said he expects to settle the suit through insurance.
Shortly after the incident in May, the elevator that broke most recently was fixed to the point of operation but was not up to code. Several residents at the time reported feeling unsafe because the elevator sometimes shook or did not stop level with the floor.
Once fully repaired, the elevator could not be used until it passed a state inspection, which had been set for Jan. 28, said Thomas Sands, counsel for Shokrian, at a previous hearing on Jan. 16.
State officials had already inspected the elevator in mid-December, but it failed, according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesman with California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA.
The elevator that had been broken since the previous October was fixed this past fall, about a year after going offline.