Lawsuit states elevator that killed Missouri teen wasn’t properly inspected

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Jaumarcus McFarland

ATLANTA — The mother of a young football player who became trapped in the elevator of an Atlanta high-rise and was crushed to death is suing several property and elevator companies.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Jessica Moore says the defendants failed to inspect the elevator that malfunctioned, killing her 18-year-old son Jaumarcus McFarland on Aug. 31. Residents had for years been complaining to management about broken elevators in the building, the lawsuit states.

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner found that elevators in the building were more than a year overdue for their annual safety inspection, the lawsuit states.

“Video footage from the third floor shows elevator 1 doors open as the elevator begins drifting in the downward direction, three residents jump from the moving elevator onto the third floor lobby,” according to the state agency’s report.

“A fourth resident Jaumarcus McFarland attempted to jump from the elevator, but his upper torso was pinned by the moving elevator and the landing sill of the third floor, which stopped the elevator’s downward travel,” the report states.

McFarland had been attending the Georgia Prep Sports Academy, which provided housing, football instruction, and classes to its students and players in the building, the lawsuit states.

McFarland had come to the academy from his home in New Madrid, Missouri. The academy, which prepares student-athletes for college, is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The academy did not immediately respond Thursday to email and telephone messages seeking comment.

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