Elevator company sued after 1 child dies, 1 permanently disabled, company refuses to issue recall

Local News

(WFRV) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is suing thyssenkrupp Access Corp. over hazards in its residential elevator design and installation materials which resulted in one child dying, one child being permanently disabled, and a third child being hospitalized after becoming entrapped.

According to the CPSC, it has filed a complaint against thyssenkrupp Access Corp. alleging that certain models of thyssenkrupp’s residential elevators sold through 2012 were installed with a hazardous gap between the exterior hoistway door and the interior elevator car door or gate proving to be a safety hazard.

Officials explain further that children can become entrapped when a residential elevator is installed with excessive space between the exterior hoistway door and the interior elevator car door or gate, and suffer serious injuries or death when the elevator is called to another floor.

There have reportedly been three incidents involving thyssenkrupp residential elevators, including a 2-year-old child who died in 2017, and a 3-year-old child left permanently disabled in 2010. Additionally, in 2019, officials report that a 4-year-old boy was hospitalized after a crush injury.

“These injuries and deaths are ghastly,” said Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “The gaps in residential elevators are truly a hidden hazard for homeowners, and for anyone who is visiting or renting a home with an elevator.”

The models include, but are not limited to Chaparral, Destiny, LEV, LEV II, LEV II Builder, Rise, Volant, Windsor, Independence, and Flexi-Lift models. The residential elevators were allegedly distributed by third-party builders, residential elevator dealers, and installers for $15,000 to $25,000 for a two-landing installation.

Officials report that at least 16,800 residential elevators were manufactured and distributed by thyssenkrupp Access Manufacturing, LLC, thyssenkrupp Access Corp., Access Industries, Inc., or National Wheel-O-Vator Company, Inc., through 2012.

CPSC says that the commission voted 3 to1 to approve the complaint, which seeks, among other things, that thyssenkrupp be ordered to notify the public of the defect and offer consumers a remedy that includes a free inspection, and if necessary, installation of safety devices, such as space guards, at no cost to consumers., however, ThyssenKrupp has reportedly refused to conduct a voluntary recall of the hazardous residential elevators.

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