Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Courthouse elevator woes

Published:Tuesday | January 20, 2015 | 12:01 AMBarbara Gayle

The civil case of an elderly disabled woman was held up for an hour yesterday as she had to seek the assistance of workers at the Supreme Court to lift her in a wheelchair to the third floor where her case was being heard.

Since last December, the two elevators have been out of service.

Joyce Burke-Scott, 68, while being lifted from the ground floor expressed disgust at the situation.

She and her daughter, Jennifer Smile, had come from Canada for the case involving a property. They had to wait downstairs the building for an hour to seek assistance to gain access to the courtroom. Two employees of the Supreme Court, along with a relative of Burke-Scott's, lifted her up three flights of stairs. They said they were surprised that a government building did not make provisions for the disabled. Scott-Burke said she could not even use the bathroom because it was not built to accommodate the disabled.

Difficult lift

The workers said it was difficult to lift Burke-Scott because the stairs were winding and narrow in some areas. They pointed out that she was not the only disabled person they had to lift.

"Almost weekly we have to be lifting disabled persons up the stairs, and this is causing a strain on us," one of them said.

"It is disgraceful that two elevators are on the building and [both] are out of service at the same time," a lawyer commented.

According to an employee of the Supreme Court, the Court Management Services, which is responsible for the running of the court, is aware of the situation but no effort is being made to repair the elevators.

A lawyer, on observing the woman, said it was a dangerous practice for the disabled to be lifted. She pointed out that if they should fall and get injured while being lifted, the Government would be responsible.