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Law Offices of Frank L. Branson Working with Victim of John Peter Smith Hospital Elevator Tragedy; Investigation Reveals Pattern of Maintenance Issues and Complaints

Questions are being raised about the safety standards and the efficacy of maintenance checks by elevator vendors after a nurse was critically injured in an elevator accident at a Fort Worth hospital.

During her shift on Jan. 20, 56-year-old nurse Carren Stratford was stepping into an elevator at John Peter Smith (JPS) Hospital when it jerked up, knocking her off balance and trapping her as it continued to rise with its doors open and Ms. Stratford lying across the threshold. Crushed between floors, Ms. Stratford was unable to breathe and her brain was deprived of oxygen. She has been in the ICU at JPS Hospital and has undergone multiple surgeries for internal injuries.

“People should not have to worry about safety issues when getting onto an elevator,” said Dallas trial lawyer Frank Branson, founder of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson. “What happened to Ms. Stratford is horrifying and something that could have been prevented. We need to ensure these elevator companies are making passenger safety their No. 1 priority. Failing to do so will only guarantee more tragedies such as the one we’ve already witnessed here at JPS Hospital.”

According to a recently released report, elevators at JPS Hospital were out of service 42 times in 2018. Local media outlets also noted myriad elevator issues documented at the hospital last year, including violent shaking of the elevator cars, malfunctioning doors, and individuals being stuck inside elevators. The hospital had Thyssenkrupp Elevator (TKE) on retainer to keep their elevators safe during 2018 and on the date Carren Stratford was severely injured.

The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) reports there are over 900,000 elevators in operation across the country. JPS Hospital’s elevator contractor, Thyssenkrupp Elevator, is one of the world’s leading elevator companies.