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One Defendant Dropped From LCCF Elevator Death Lawsuit

June 19, 2018 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — One of the defendants in the lawsuit stemming from two elevator deaths at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility has been dismissed from the case.

Court documents filed Monday said the plaintiffs agreed to drop the Otis Elevator Co. from the litigation over the deaths of Correctional Officer Kristopher Moules, 25, of Larksville, and inmate Timothy D. Gilliam Jr., 27, of Wilkes-Barre, who fell to their deaths following a confrontation on the jail’s fifth floor on July 18, 2016.

The agreement does not provide a reason for dropping the company from the lawsuit, and plaintiff’s attorney Joseph A. Quinn Jr. did not return a message Monday.

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Otis attorney Christine O. Boyd, Philadelphia, said the company did not settle the lawsuit.

“We did not pay any money to settle the case,” Boyd said, declining to comment further.

The deaths took place as Moules was trying to handcuff Gilliam during an altercation. The pair slammed against the elevator door, which swung open from its base and allowed the men to fall 59 feet, according to prosecutors.

Gilliam’s death was ruled accidental, while Moules’ was ruled a homicide.

Both men’s families subsequently filed suit against Otis as well as Schindler Elevator Corp., Inventio AG and Nagle Elevator Inspection & Testing LLC alleging the companies “violated all tenets of safe elevator maintenance” by using improper parts on the elevator, including an undersized device used to prevent the doors from swinging in or out.

The status of the lawsuits against the other defendants was not immediately clear Monday. In recent weeks, several sealed orders have been filed in the case.

Contact the writer:

jhalpin@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2058