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JPS Elevator Inspection Blames Worn Brakes, Poor Maintenance for Tragedy

State investigators say a worn out brake and poor maintenance are to blame for an elevator accident that crushed a John Peter Smith Hospital nurse. Carren Stratford suffered serious and life altering injuries in the January 2019 incident at JPS. In the wake of this new report, the state Department of Licensing and Regulation put out a statewide alert for building owners and elevator contractors to routinely check elevators.

“The state report is another piece of the puzzle we’ve been looking at and it’s really consistent with the evidence we’ve seen so far as to what caused Ms. Stratford’s injuries,” said attorney Frank Branson, who represents Stratford.

Both Branson and JPS Hospital CEO Robert Earley have criticized Thyssen Krupp Elevator, the vendor JPS contracted with to take care of the elevators at the time of the incident. “This is just a terrible tragedy at a public county hospital that should never have occurred,” Branson said.