Court Hears Lawsuit Over Failure to Hold Handrail

She didn’t want to hold the handrail, but a woman in Canada refuses to release her grip on a case that began with her arrest 10 years ago in a subway station in the Montreal suburb of Laval. And, though charges against her were eventually dismissed, she felt like police and the city should be punished for the way she was treated. This week, the Canadian Supreme Court agreed to hear her side, CTV News reports.

It was in 2009 when a police officer saw Bela Kosoian riding the escalator without holding the handrail, even though the escalator was marked with a pictogram instructing riders to do so. An argument ensued, and Kosoian was ultimately detained for about 30 minutes, during which time she was handed a CAD100 (US$75) ticket for failing to hold the rail, and a CAD320 (US$240) ticket for refusing to identify herself to the officer. Her case was heard in municipal court in 2012, and she was acquitted of the charges. For the way she was treated, she filed a lawsuit against the city, the transit corporation and the police officer. Her case was twice rejected in Quebec courts, but the nation’s highest court took it up, and heard arguments on Tuesday. During the proceedings, Justice Clement Gascon said, “I suppose if we were to give out tickets to people not holding the handrail, we’d be issuing hundreds per hour.” There was no immediate indication of when the court might rule.

Drawing Attention

The cover of the September 2018 issue of Oregon Business magazine

In its September issue, Oregon Business magazine took on the topic of elevator maintenance and safety in an article titled “Shafted,” which noted a shortage of qualified technicians and a growing maintenance backlog as part of the reason for an increasing number of entrapments. In fact, the article became the edition’s cover story, and, as such, was the subject of much internal discussion about how to illustrate it. In a companion piece, Oregon Business Art Director Joan McGuire explained the creative process for designing the cover, which is both stark and compelling. As developers build ever higher, the issues raised in the article will have to be addressed, and the sooner, the better. This simple yet engaging cover should catch the attention of those in a position to tackle the problems.

What the Inspector Found

Apache County, Arizona, Court Administrator Sueanne Czarnyszka stands next to the door to an elevator mechanical room in the courthouse basement where historic documents were discovered. The note on the door reminds everyone that storage is not allowed in the room; photo by Trudy Balcom/The Independent.

A routine elevator inspection isn’t always routine — problems that need correcting may be uncovered, and, in a worst-case scenario, the elevator may be shut down for safety reasons. But, a recent inspection at the Apache County Courthouse in St. Johns, Arizona, was unusual for an entirely different reason: it turned up a treasure trove of old papers that document the county’s early history, the White Mountain Independent reports. While conducting his check of

This colorful 1918 plat map of Apache County includes the handwritten names of property owners and a legend of the county’s original wagon trails. The map was in use until 1937; photo by Trudy Balcom/The Independent.

an elevator at the courthouse, the inspector entered a mechanical room in which boxes had been inappropriately stored. He told Court Administrator Sueanne Czarnyszka that the boxes would have to be removed, so she had the boxes taken up to her office and began inspecting their contents. What she found was amazing: For one, a 1918 color plat map of the county that had handwritten names of landowners; but, there was also a variety of legal documents, including court proceedings and attorney records. Among notable items were documents relating to landowner and pardoned criminal Phin Clanton, whose brother, Billy, was killed in the famous “Gunfight at O.K. Corral.” Phin was later suspected in an apparent revenge ambush of lawman Virgil Earp, though he was never charged.

The priceless documents are to be sent to the state archives, but they provide a valuable reminder: you never know what will turn up during a routine elevator inspection.