Nurse's Lawsuit Against Elevator Company Moved to Federal Court

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation said worn brake shoes "illustrated a lack of routine maintenance and equipment checks"

The lawsuit filed by a nurse who was injured by an elevator at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth earlier this year was moved to federal court on Thursday, court documents show.

Carren Stratford is suing thyssenkrupp Elevator Company after she suffered brain damage and was in a coma for nearly a month. The elevator company attorneys requested move due to the amount she is seeking, which is $1 million.

On Jan. 20, Stratford entered Elevator 29 on the 10th floor of the hospital. As she stepped on the elevator, it continued to climb.

"She fell, top half went over the side of the elevator and it continued to go up and she was crushed between the elevator and the wall," according to Stratford's attorney, Frank Branson. "When they finally got her free she had no pulse, she had brain damage, she had several vertebrae in her back broken, small intestine ruptured; she's been in the hospital ever since."

Stratford spent nearly a month in a coma before waking up and being transferred from the ICU to a step-down facility.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation released a report in May saying the accident was the result of brake failure, saying "worn-out brake shoes did not set firmly when the elevator arrived at the tenth floor, so the elevator car continued to move when the doors opened and the nurse attempted to enter."

Following the accident, JPS officials terminated the maintenance agreement with thyssenkrupp and hired a new provider.

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