Officials still unsure why Fenway elevator door opened, causing woman to fall two floors

The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether to take any action against Fenway Park for a May 16 incident in which a woman celebrating her graduation from Boston University suffered serious head injuries in a fall down an elevator shaft.

After the incident, police cited Fenway for her injuries and for allegedly overserving her.

BPD Det. William Parlon told the board today that police, the state elevator inspector and engineers from Otis Elevator are unable to definitively say why the door at the elevator, on the fourth floor near Gate B opened as the woman and her family gathered around the elevator doors at the end of a Sox/Tigers game:

"It is not known exactly what happened, but apparently somebody put their weight against the doors and it opened and she fell down the shaft," Parlon said.

Parlon and Fenway officials said the woman and about 15 family members had attended the game to celebrate her BU graduation and her impending job at Price, Waterhouse. During the game, they shared a closed off area near the elevator, centered on a picnic table and a bar.

Fenway attorney Dennis Quilty sought to have the overserving citation simply dismissed, saying neither of the police reports submitted into evidence even mentioned alcohol.

The detective said the citation came about after another detective, Daniel Keeler, interviewed her doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess, who told him he was unable to give her certain medications because of alcohol in her system.

Board member Milton Wright said this didn't necessarily mean she had been overserved, because some medications might be contraindicated even at low levels of alcohol. Keeler did not attend the hearing to further explain his conversation with the physician.

Tristan Mowe, the bartender who manned the bar, said he served the woman three or four beers over the course of the game, but said she never appeared intoxicated. Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer asked if he had observed her swaying at all or saw her with bloodshot eyes. He said no. "Did you observe any signs of intoxication when you served her last beer?" she asked. The bartender again replied no.

Fenway security director Charles Cellucci said he got a radio call around 11:15 p.m. that a person had fallen into the shaft. He said when he got to the area, he noticed a man, 50 to 55, at the door, which was by then hanging from the top hinges, looking down the shaft and "trying to console the victim." He said he later learned the man was the victim's father. He said firefighters and EMTs arrived soon after and spent 45 minutes extracting her from the shaft and preparing her for transportation to Beth Israel.

Cellucci added that while several Fenway employees saw the family around the elevator door, none reported seeing the door at the moment it opened.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    Comments

    Why are there no security

    By on

    Why are there no security cameras aimed at the elevator? Seems like an odd place to not have coverage.

    up
    10

    The firm name is

    The firm name is PricewaterhouseCoopers and considering what happened, sadly she was better off being seriously injured now and retaining her soul rather than spend 10 years at a terrible meatgrinder of a company that preys on recent grads and destroys human beings over a longer period of time.

    up
    13

    I call BS

    By on

    Good friend of mine has spent his entire career at PWC - and he's perfectly happy, well adjusted and quite wealthy. He gets to retire selling his piece of the biz to the next generation some time in the next 5 years (mandatory retirement at age 60 - but they make it worth your while). Definitely not my cup o' tea - but that's what makes the world go round.

    Also have a friend whose twenty-something daughter works there and I believe is perfectly happy and well compensated - although I'm sure she works very hard.

    to say nothing of the fact that this girl apparently had pretty serious head injuries. that's a sick thing to say. I hope she recovers enough to pursue her career and make up her own mind whether she likes it or not.

    up
    24

    If she's an accountant, I'd

    If she's an accountant, I'd gladly take her at my old regional firm over the awful Big 4 charade. There's a reason they're hard pressed to retain senior levels. Not many kids with personalities and lives want to work constant 70+ hour weeks for years after being bought in with the Disneyworld trip and 3 weeks of actual work PR fascade. The ones that want a real job that's honest but not a meatgrinder go corporate or to regional firms.

    Errr....

    {sits very quietly at KPMG while tax returns, invoices and engagement letters swirl around the desk...}

    :)

    Keeler?

    By on

    Mr. Homicide was the one that extracted her alcoholic state hours after she'd had her last drink by questioning a doctor about medications? Really?? Keeler!? Mr. Presumption?

    Fenway Park's attorney should just forward the numerous articles about Keeler's ability to make up the story the way he sees it and then find the evidence to fit that story (and on one occasion just make it up).

    I call BS on this for one reason

    Patient confidentiality.

    She would have a lawsuit against the doctor and hospital if anybody there so casually made such statements about which medications were given or her tox screen to a cop without a warrant. Doctors are specifically trained to not discuss such things.

    More reason to believe that Mr. Test A. Lyons is making shit up.

    up
    12

    Cops can ask, sure

    By on

    Either this cop is lying or the hospital has an HR and Legal situation now. We aren't allowed to talk informally to them like this and they know it. Unless he found one of the temp staff nurses from India and he or she didn't know the rules, I'm not buying it. You don't discuss medical details with anyone other than family or designated decision makers.

    If I told this to a cop I would be fired because the hospital could be sued. We tell them that directly, in case they forget being told the last time. Also, I would be surprised if the cop could just walk in and talk to the doctor like he claims, especially since there are infection control procedures in place, not to mention a steady stream of patients to attend to/ There are a zillion reasons why a hospital would say no to that and wouldn't fetch the doctor for an interview without a subpoena.

    A modern hospital ER is NOT a TV show. This group of politicians seems to not see through that.

    A lot of people seem to have trouble understanding that.

    A modern hospital ER is NOT a TV show. This group of politicians seems to not see through that.

    They go through the run of life imagining themselves to be stars of their own bad sitcoms.

    They even have soundtracks seeping from flat things which leave them so distracted, they fall into subway pits.

    Yes, subpoena

    I stand corrected.

    Even so, even with all these "exceptions" (none of which apply in this instance, BTW), I doubt a doctor would so casually reveal such specific information, if they even had time to talk to a police officer. There was no immediate need to reveal that information, either (and it would be in a medical record for later reference, subject to court action).

    I know enough ER workers to question such a revelation.

    up
    13

    They apply.

    It's done all the time. As long as certian privacy concerns are met, law enforcement officials can pretty much get this information for criminal investigations with a subpoena.

    The disclosure is in response to an administrative request, such as an administrative subpoena, investigative demand, or other written request from a law enforcement official. Law enforcement officials can make this request without judicial involvement but must include a written statement that the information is relevant and material to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry, that it is specific and limited in scope, and that information is stripped of personal identifiers that cannot be used.6

    That's paraphrased from that section but if you google it, you will find the context in other nationally HIPPA cases involving law enforcement.

    You missed this part

    other written request from a law enforcement official.

    You seem to be ignoring this part, too:

    Law enforcement officials can make this request without judicial involvement but must include a written statement that the information is relevant and material to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry

    Going back to the report of the hearing:

    The detective said the citation came about after another detective, Daniel Keeler, interviewed her doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess, who told him he was unable to give her certain medications because of alcohol in her system.

    The cop claims that he "interviewed" the doctor, as in "had a verbal conversation". That's why I call bullshit - the testifying person presents this as if Officer Sunglasses strolled into the ER and chatted with the ER doc and learned protected information.

    Makes you wonder where the written requests went too, eh?

    I wonder what the legal department at BID makes of this interview.

    Not that big a deal.....

    I guess I know more than most about the situation so I probably should add anything else, except to say the conversation with the doctor isn't going to be an issue.

    Civil legal question

    By on

    Would Keeler's discussion of the conversation be permissible if/when there is a lawsuit on this thing?

    Not that you look at the civil side, but my guess is that HIPAA would apply in this.

    Of course, Keeler's statement would be hearsay in a civil suit, but still.

    Really?

    I guess I know more than most about the situation so I probably should add anything else, except to say the conversation with the doctor isn't going to be an issue.

    Perhaps the conversation will result in the doctor finding a new line of work, one in which he is not entrusted with confidential information?

    And besides,

    Daniel Keeler, interviewed her doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess, who told him he was unable to give her certain medications because of alcohol in her system.

    What the eff was a doctor at a hospital doing, saying anything to a miscellaneous detective other than, "please talk to our legal department."

    Like someone said bob...

    Stop watching TV, but more importantly, don't always believe what you hear or read in the media. In this case, it's pretty much paraphrased and/or limited information, so don't take it so literally. It's pretty much just a summary of how the information was obtained.

    Also, if you think it's hard to fire cops, firing a doctor is probably a million times harder.

    HIPAA

    By on

    It's spelled HIPAA, and it's a set of regulations enacted in 1996 relating to electronic transmission of medical information. Use the term "confidentiality" when referring to much older and broader guidelines around healthcare providers not sharing people's bidness.

    Is alcohol relevant at this time?

    By on

    Sounds like a very bad elevator malfunction, which resulted in someone being seriously injured.

    The police have to collect all kinds of evidence while it's fresh, in case it becomes relevant later, but so much news talk of alcohol right now just seems like impugning the reputation of the victim for no good reason.

    Don't worry, alcohol will come up again, when Fenway Park lawyers are trying to persuade a jury that the victim should be awarded only half the number of millions of dollars on the table.

    And why should the victim collect

    By on

    anything beyond the cost of her legal and medical bills? In order to "punish" Fenway Park?

    This type of "but I'm entitled to a huge undeserved lottery payment because the defendant can afford it" is exactly what's wrong with our legal system.

    No, It Doesn't Sound At All Like An Elevator Malfunction

    By on

    I've heard absolutely nothing that would suggest an equipment malfunction. Rather, it sounds like someone used great force to deliberately smash in the bottom of the doors, causing them to break free of their tracks and swing inward.

    Whether Ms. Scotland caused the damage to the elevator herself, or whether someone else did it is not clear. However, the momentum someone would need to attain in order to exert such force, would possibly cause the person to keep moving in that same direction after the doors gave way. Even if someone else broke the mechanism, it was reported that the doors did not open horizontally, but that they swung inward. Considering the law of gravity, someone would have to push against the broken doors for that to happen.

    Having played with, repaired, and/or operated many different kinds of elevators for more than fifty years, I can tell you that it's physically impossible for the hoistway doors to have just opened by themselves. There is surely more to this story; I hope Ms. Scotland recovers quickly and completely, such that we may hear her side of it.

    up
    11

    FENWAY ELEVATOR

    By on

    Simple question. What was her blood alcohol level which led to a determination to withhold medications?

    Simple Answer

    We don't know for certain and may not know if there were medications withheld, because the cop in question has a long record of making shit up (and if a doctor actually did say something to Mr. Sunglasses without a subpoena or a crime-in-progress, that doctor violated a number of privacy and confidentiality laws in doing so).

    OMG

    By on

    You can't be serious. You think every hospital that gives blood work to cops investigating drunk driving crashes is violating privacy laws? OF COURSE the cops can get medical records if they're investigating a potential crime.

    Not by verbal interview

    See the above conversation. They need to submit a written request with clear boundaries.

    They can't stroll in, talk to a doctor, and submit it as evidence.

    We also need to consider the source here: Keeler.

    It Wasn't A Drunk Driving Incident

    By on

    If a driver violates traffic laws and causes injuries to others, then subpoenaing blood test results or other medical records can be justified. It's illegal to drive while impaired, but it's not illegal to attend a baseball game while impaired. At worst, Ms. Scotland could be charged with vandalizing the elevator, causing injury to herself, but evidence for that is only circumstantial.

    Proof of alcohol impairment could be used to fend off civil liability by Fenway Park, but unless there are criminal charges, I don't think her medical records can be so easily obtained.

    Almost, but not quite.

    OF COURSE the cops can get medical records if they're investigating a potential crime

    They can, if they get a court to order the disclosure. But otherwise, probably not. see the bolded below.

    There is no doctor-patient privilege recognized under Massachusetts law. Bratt v. International Bus. Machs. Corp., 392 Mass. 508, 522–523 n.22, 467 N.E.2d 126, 136–137 n.22 (1984). See also Commonwealth v. Senior, 433 Mass. 453, 456–457, 744 N.E.2d 614, 617 (2001); Tower v. Hirschhorn, 397 Mass. 581, 588, 492 N.E.2d 728, 733 (1986). However, physicians have a duty not to make out-of-court disclosures of medical information about the patient without the patient’s consent, Alberts v. Devine, 395 Mass. 59, 67–68, 479 N.E.2d 113, 119, cert. denied sub nom., Carroll v. Alberts, 474 U.S. 1013 (1985), unless disclosure is necessary to meet a serious danger to the patient or others. Id

    Because they're potentially part of the same incident

    By on

    Otherwise, not necessarily related. It's against the law to overserve a patron, regardless of whether that patron then falls down an elevator shaft. Ferrer asked a number of questions to try to establish whether the woman had been overserved (including the length of time she was being served). Neither she nor board member Milton Wright, however, asked specifically whether any potential overserving led to her falling down the shaft (the third member, Suzanne Ianella, recused herself, as she always does on hearings involving Fenway Park).

    Bars are brought up for overserving all the time - in fact, two other bars had hearings on the same charge today.

    FENWAY ELEVATOR

    By on

    Missed the fact that Dan Keeler was involved in the investigation. Might want to know how many details he works at Fenway Park. Could affect his credibility, or at least what's left of it.

    up
    12

    Maybe it's one of those

    ..importance blind spots.

    The city doesn't want to seem to impose on such an important institution with grubby things like inspections.

    And the detail beneficiaries don't want to lose important perks by being overzealous about investigations unfavorable to this importance.

    Elmer's observation of an actual important detail is interesting.

    Could someone have bashed the lower end with something like a power pallet jack while in some important rush but concluded it wasn't an important enough to mention?