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SF Lawyer Sues Wrong Defendants in Elevator Accident Case

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 10, 2009 11:50 AM

A San Francisco lawyer admits that he filed a wrongful death suit against the wrong defendants in an elevator accident case that cost a life last year.

According to SF Weekly, Mr. Zimmerman represented the family of Dan Kliman, who fell to his death in a downtown SF elevator last year. Zimmerman has admitted that he filed the lawsuit against people who don't even own the building in question.

Mr. Zimmerman filed the lawsuit against Coast Counties Management, Inc. and the Kone Elevator company along with Scott and Elisa Stephens (Academy of Art University). The problem? The building where the elevator accident happened was not owned by any of these people.

The building, located at 55 New Montgomery Street is actually owned by Robert and Nancy Bernheim in conjunction with the Bernheim Family Trust.

The SF lawyer is quoted by SF Weekly as saying in a letter to an Academy of Art lawyer: "I have asked my office to file an immediate dismissal against every one of your clients who were mistakenly named in this lawsuit." Mr. Zimmerman explains that he filed the lawsuit against the wrong people because his investigator typed in the address into the SFGov.org website which led him to believe that the address was located in a property parcel owned by the wrong defendants.

The lawsuit was for $30 million dollars. The victim, Dan Kliman was a doctor who was pro-Israel and pro-gay rights. A good number of people feel that the odd circumstances of Dr. Kliman's death may be due to foul play.

However, police assured the public that the death was nothing more than an elevator accident. "We've got forensic evidence pointing toward a tragic accident," Inspector Matt Krimsky told SF Weekly at the time. "There is no evidence of foul play whatsoever. Underscore that, bold it and print it with an exclamation point."

We expect that should he continue to represent the victims family, Mr. Zimmerman is planning on suing the right people sometime this week.

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