Approximately 40,000 elevators carry passengers in the Lone Star State. As reported by WFAA-TV News, a lack of oversight and poorly updated records has resulted in neglected and unsafe elevators.
Based on data from the Department of Licensing and Regulation, 14% of the state’s elevators have not received an annual inspection as mandated. Some of them reportedly have not had an inspection for several years. In most elevators, the last date of inspection appears on a certificate in clear view for passengers to see.
The number of poorly maintained or unsafe elevators is unknown; several cases, however, have revealed that worn-out brakes may cause the most harm to passengers. The wearing down occurs over time and may cause elevators to plunge. There exists, however, a duty of care to monitor and maintain elevator functions, brakes and shafts. With regular inspections and maintenance, elevators can function correctly.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, elevators across the U.S. cause an average of 940 injuries and five deaths every year. Companies that fail to prevent injuries and deaths may face liability for the harm done to victims or their grieving families.
As reported by NBC5 DFW, one example incident in Texas occurred when a hospital elevator did not stop after a passenger had stepped into it. The complaint requested $1 million in damages over the accident that state investigators revealed resulted from the elevator’s worn-out brakes. When an elevator passenger experiences a serious injury, filing a lawsuit may help in recovering damages for the harm suffered.