Nine people had to be rescued yesterday from a malfunctioning elevator in a Bronx residential high-rise at 1380 University Avenue.

According to the New York Daily News, before the malfunction, just one elevator worked in the 18-story private building. Now neither elevator works. The 144 families, including elderly and handicapped people, either take the stairs or stay home.

In 2008 the New York Department of Buildings began compiling — and posting on its Web site — the worst-elevator list in an effort to shame building owners to increase safety. The Bronx elevator that stranded residents yesterday is #9 on the list with 10 violations so far in 2012.

Property owners have a responsibility to keep their building systems safe. When this doesn’t happen they expose their tenants and guests to injury and themselves to a liability lawsuit. Elevator accidents are often the result of inadequate or negligent maintenance. In New York, the courts allow juries to conclude that an elevator accident was the result of negligence, even in the absence of direct evidence of that negligence.

The New York Department of Buildings Top 10 Elevator Offender List is not based solely on violations, but also on field inspections and complaints. Using complaint data, violations, maintenance filings, and field inspection records, the Buildings Department has identified ten of the top offenders who will be pursued under the Elevator Enforcement Program.

Top 10 Elevator Offenders (Updated Dec. 5, 2012):

1990 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
Owner: KNW Apartments LLC

129 Ridge Street, Manhattan
Owner: 129-135 Ridge Street HDFC

231 Steuben Street, Staten Island
Owner: Steuben Delshah LLC

180 Lenox Road, Brooklyn
Owner: Lenox 180 LLC

565 West 139th Street, Manhattan
Owner: 565 West 139th Street LP

2300-2344 Boston Road, the Bronx
Owner: Bronx Park East Housing Co., Inc.

10-40 Richman Plaza, the Bronx
Owner: Harlem River Park Houses, Inc.

540 Jackson Avenue, the Bronx
Owner: 540 Jackson Realty Corporation

1380 University Avenue, the Bronx
Owner: University Residence Inc.

104-60 Queens Boulevard, Queens
Owner: Parker Queens LP

View the list here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/safety/top10_elev_offenders.shtml