COLLEGE
04/13/2011 08:16 am ET Updated Jun 13, 2011

Andy Polakowski's Family Gets Settlement In Ohio State Elevator Death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The parents of an Ohio State University freshman killed in an elevator accident are pleased the case has been resolved following a $1 million settlement by the university, their attorney said.

Andrew Polakowski of Erie, Pa., died Oct. 20, 2006, when he was pinned trying to leave an overcrowded elevator that was stuck between floors.

"The settlement agreement speaks for itself," Cleveland lawyer Peter Weinberger said Tuesday. "Obviously, the family is pleased the matter has been resolved." He declined to comment further.

Polakowski's family is receiving $523,151 after attorneys' fees and expenses.

The March 17 settlement also calls for $612,500 in contributions to Ohio State toward the settlement from five companies involved in the manufacture and maintenance of elevators.

One company, Abell Elevator Service Co., of Louisville, Ky., contributing $100,000, declined to comment Tuesday. Other companies could not immediately comment or did not immediately return messages.

None of the parties, including Ohio State, admit any liability under the terms of the settlement.

Ohio State said it is happy the case is over.

OSU officials also "hope that the conclusion of the proceedings will bring a measure of comfort to the Polakowski family. The death of Andrew Polakowski was a tragic loss for his family and friends and also deeply affected many members of The Ohio State University community."

After the accident, the university reviewed how it handles elevator upgrades, repairs and emergency calls. Ohio State also posts safety messages inside all elevators and adds extra messages outside dormitory elevators.

The university also addresses elevator safety for all students the day they move into a dorm.

The lawsuit filed by Polakowski's parents alleged the school was negligent with regard to the elevator that crushed the 18-year-old student.

At the time of the accident, the elevator was crowded with 24 people, exceeding its weight capacity by as much as 1,100 pounds.

Students piling onto the already crowded elevator car may have encouraged still more people to enter, according to a final police report on the accident released in 2007.

After the lawsuit was filed, Ohio State University argued it was not responsible for Polakowski's death because his own negligence caused or contributed to his injuries. Ohio State said the student helped to overcrowd the elevator, causing it to become stuck between floors.