Thank you for your question. I'm very sorry to hear about your situation, it sounds absolutely terrifying.
In California, mental anguish
damages which would cover traumatic mental injuries such as this are only compensable in limited situations. The first is where those mental anguish damages are tied to a physical injury. In this case, there has not been a physical injury so this is not applicable.
The second is where there was a negligent infliction of emotional distress
. The California Supreme Court has allowed plaintiffs to bring negligent infliction of emotional distress actions as "direct victims" in only three types of factual situations: (1) the negligent mishandling of corpses (Christensen v. Superior Court (1991) 54 Cal.3d 868, 879 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 79, 820 P.2d 181]); (2) the negligent misdiagnosis of a disease that could potentially harm another (Molien v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1980) 27 Cal.3d 916, 923 [167 Cal.Rptr. 831, 616 P.2d 813]; and (3) the negligent breach of a duty arising out of a preexisting relationship (Burgess v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.4th 1064, 1076 [9 Cal.Rptr.2d 615, 831 P.2d 1197]).
Unfortunately, your situation does not fall under any of these rules either.
Because the failure to get you out of the elevator was not intentional (only negligent) on the building owner's part and it did not cause any physical injury, this would be a very hard claim to recover on.
Please let me know if you have further questions on this matter.