Elevator & Escalator Accidents
Elevators perform a simple function but are complex machines. In use every single day by millions of people we have a right to expect the elevators we use are safe and kept in good working order.
When improperly designed, installed or maintained, elevator safety is compromised. While rare, serious elevator accidents are often devastating. Most serious elevator injuries are sustained by young children.
Cash Krugler Fredericks is committed to representing the individuals and families who must navigate life after a serious elevator injury and to preventing future tragedies.
Elevator Accident Cases
On Christmas Eve, 2010, Brandi and Mike Helvey sat in the hospital, anxiously praying and awaiting news of their only child’s prognosis. Earlier that day, their three-year-old son Jacob had been horribly injured in an elevator accident in their home.
The toddler had become trapped between the elevator’s outer hoistway door and the folding accordion door on the elevator cab. When the elevator was called from another floor, Jacob was crushed and deprived of oxygen for many minutes before emergency responders were able to free him using the “Jaws of Life.” Although Jacob survived, he unfortunately suffered a catastrophic and permanent brain injury and now requires around the clock care.
After lengthy litigation, our firm settled the Helveys’ case just prior to trial, but has remained committed to our promise to the Helvey family that we would do everything possible to fix this serious problem. No family should ever have to suffer and go through what the Helveys have endured. That is why we continue to pressure the elevator industry to act now to make their elevators safe so that further tragedies are prevented.
Cash Krugler Fredericks has retained some of the country’s leading engineering and design experts to analyze elevator safety and how to prevent future accidents. In addition, our attorneys have traveled to Washington, DC at their own expense in order to present to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) our data, research and expert reports regarding the industry wide defects in residential elevators and to propose simple design and other solutions that eliminate this serious hazard. Our firm continues to work with the CPSC to institute a nationwide residential elevator recall, which if taken will eliminate the hazard that caused Jacob Helvey’s injuries and prevent future tragedies.
Notably, our efforts have already resulted in significant change in the state of Georgia, as evidenced by recent, expedited changes made with our state elevator code that now limit the space between the hoistway door and elevator door or gate. Although the code changes in Georgia are significant, there are still thousands of unsafe and hazardous elevators in Georgia and across the country. Until the problem is completely fixed, we will continue to pressure the elevator industry to make their existing and new elevators safe so that no family has to suffer like the Helvey family.
Sadly, these elevator accidents continue to occur. Another tragic accident occurred at a rental home at Myrtle Beach during a family reunion last November. Jordan Nelson, 10, suffered horrific injuries and is a quadriplegic with catastrophic brain damage. Jordan now requires around the clock care and his life has been forever altered. The Nelson family has retained Cash Krugler Fredericks to represent them in a lawsuit against the manufacturer and other parties.
As our results demonstrate, we have the experience and expertise to pursue these unique cases to obtain full compensation for our clients. (Case Results). Our goal is to provide the best possible representation for you and your family. If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator or escalator incident, give us a call for a free evaluation.
Video Series on Home Elevator Dangers
Please view Fox 5’s Investigative piece featuring CKF’s home elevator case, and the five follow up stories resulting in legislative changes.
Story 1 is the video that focuses on the Helvey family, Jacob’s injury and their day-to-day lives now, caring for him after his catastrophic brain injuries.
The first report on the Helveys accident was so alarming, it prompted action from the state. In this second part, Fox 5 spoke with Georgia State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens about his plans to improve safety of home elevators.
Fox 5 reported that the Insurance Commissioner sent out a letter marked Urgent! to 9,000 homeowners alerting them to the dangers of home elevators. Until the I-team brought it to his attention, Ralph Hudgins had not ever heard of the deaths and injuries that had occurred in home elevators.
Fox 5 called home elevators a potential “death trap for children” and spoke with John Koshak, an industry safety expert we had hired to consult on the Helvey case. He believes Georgia needs to tighten the residential elevator code to prevent more injuries to children.
Another child is severely injured after getting trapped in a home elevator while his family was on vacation in South Carolina. In this story Andy Cash explains how new code proposals need to go even further to protect children.
Thanks to reports done by Fox 5’s Dana Fowle, the insurance and fire safety commissions are proposing changes that they hope will “make Georgia a trendsetter in elevator safety.”