Texas agency says brake failure caused elevator incident at JPS

The state agency responsible for regulating elevators in Texas determined brake failure was the cause of the January 20, 2019 incident that seriously injured a JPS Health Network nurse.

The nurse had stepped onto the elevator at JPS, and then lost her balance as it continued to rise, crushing her. She suffered brain damage and internal injuries and has undergone surgeries. She remains hospitalized.

“Today we received the accident investigation report from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation [TDLR] that clearly concludes a lack of routine maintenance and equipment checks by the company contracted to provide those services caused the elevator brakes to fail,” said JPS President and CEO Robert Earley.

Earley said that hospital officials intend to hold the contractor, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp., accountable for the Jan. 20 accident. The hospital has since hired Southwest Elevator Inc. to provide maintenance and repair services for all JPS elevators.

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Documents obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram show that the hospital’s elevators were out of service at least 42 times from January 2018 to this January.

The TDLR report cites numerous deficiencies in routine maintenance resulting in the brake failure. The report will be available for public viewing at www.tdlr.texas.gov.

Thyssenkrupp said in a statement earlier that it will focus on why the nurse was hurt and preventing anything similar from happening again.