Chef Brian Roland slowly recovering from injuries from 2021 accident

Author: Aisling Swift, The Naples Press
Published: Updated:
Credit: Crave Culinaire

More than 2½ years after he was crushed and pinned by a car lift, Chef Brian Roland’s lawsuit is getting closer to a trial in February 2025—or a possible settlement.

Crave Culinaire founder Roland, 44, an award-winning Southwest Florida chef, was catering an event on Dec. 4, 2021, at Ferrari Naples when he fell through a 22-inch gap on a car lift, plunged to the ground floor and was crushed as it moved downward. The instructions for the car lift, a vertical reciprocating conveyor, clearly stated that it should be installed with a 1-inch maximum gap.

“People are never allowed to ride those under the Florida Building Code,” said Roland’s attorney, Dena Sisk Foman of West Palm Beach, adding that a private provider inspection company inspected the car lift during the pandemic. “They weren’t really doing inspections, coming out and looking. Everything was done virtually and I think that was part of it. … I’ve got a feeling you’re going to see a lot of this. … Safety took a back seat.”

Under the law, VRCs fall under their own national code, exempt from the national elevator code because they’re only to be used to transport materials, not people. Someone would drive a car into the lift and exit the car, use the stairs to meet the lift on another floor and then drive the car out.

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