FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth nurse who was seriously injured by a JPS Hospital elevator has filed a negligence lawsuit against Thyssenkrupp Elevator Co., charging that the company failed to perform routine maintenance that would have prevented the January 2019 incident.

According to the lawsuit filed by The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson, Carren Stratford, 56, was seriously injured when the brakes failed on the hospital elevator. Her body was trapped between the doors as the elevator rose, crushing her. Stratford was unable to breathe and suffered an anoxic brain injury before she could be rescued. More than six months after the tragedy, she remains a patient in a brain injury rehabilitation facility.

“This is a tragedy in every sense because these horrible injuries were 100 percent preventable,” said attorney Frank Branson of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson. “Had Thyssenkrupp simply performed the routine maintenance work as promised, Ms. Stratford would be caring for her family and serving the community at JPS Hospital like she was before this terrible event.”

Carren Stratford – JPS Hospital nurse (courtesy: attorney Frank Branson)

Thyssenkrupp had a contract with hospital operator JPS Health Network to service and maintain elevator equipment at the hospital, including providing regular “maintenance of the highest quality to ensure the elevators were in safe operating condition.” The company assigned employee Randal J. Mason, who is named a codefendant in the lawsuit, to work onsite at the hospital to oversee the safety, maintenance and repair of the elevators.

An investigation by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation blamed the incident on brake failure caused by a lack of routine maintenance and equipment checks. Additionally, investigators reported no visible signs that the machinery was lubricated as required.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages of at least $1 million for damages including medical expenses, physical impairment, physical pain and suffering and mental anguish.