A criminal investigation has been launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in connection with the death last month of Suzanne Hart, the Y&R executive who died after an elevator malfunctioned at the midtown offices of the WPP agency.
The New York Post was the first to report the development, citing unnamed sources. Officials at the Manhattan District Attorney’s offices could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hart was killed on Dec. 14 as she attempted to enter an elevator at 285 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, a WPP-owned building which houses a number of the holding company’s agencies in New York, including Y&R.
The Manhattan DA joins a list of several other city units already investigating the mishap, including the Buildings Department, the Department of Investigations and the NYPD.
A major focus of the investigations is maintenance work performed on the elevator by Transel Elevator Inc., which the building had used to perform routine maintenance on the elevators.
DNAinfo, a New York-based journalism organization, reported earlier this week that Transel performed work on the elevator car involved in the accident just hours before the mishap occurred, but allegedly failed to report the work as required by city regulations. The required report would have triggered an inspection before the elevator would have been put back into service.
Meanwhile, the 85-year old building has reopened. Last fall, WPP had confirmed plans to sell the building and relocate staffers to a modern facility further north in the city. The move is planned for 2013.