Fort Worth Hospital's CEO Criticizes Elevator Contractor

An employee was seriously injured Jan. 20 in one of John Peter Smith Hospital’s elevators. President and CEO Robert Earley’s Jan. 29 letter to a ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation regional president says seven of the hospital’s elevators were out of service on Jan. 25.

The president and CEO of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, has written a letter criticizing the company that services and maintains the hospital's elevators. The letter from Robert Earley, president and CEO of the JPS Health Network, to Pete Engwer, regional president of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, was dated Jan. 29 and claims that ThyssenKrupp "may have failed to live up to its service and maintenance obligations here at JPS."

A hospital employee was seriously injured Jan. 20 in one of John Peter Smith Hospital's elevators when it was stopped at the 10th floor. No further information about the employee has been released, except that JPS has reported that three minutes after police received the call, the employee was out of the elevator and was being given CPR. No one else was in the elevator at the time of the incident.

Earley’s letter says seven of the hospital's elevators were out of service on Jan. 25 because of "operational concerns." During that time, only one of ThyssenKrupp's technicians was available to perform repairs, he wrote, adding, "This is unacceptable and jeopardizes the safety of our patients and team members. As the medical home for thousands of patients, the sole Level 1 Trauma Center and the only psychiatric emergency room in Tarrant County, JPS deserves better."

In the letter, Earley writes that JPS will request, if necessary, that ThyssenKrupp provide a defense to JPS in connection with any litigation involving the injured employee.

Nichole Manna of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Jan. 28 that ThyssenKrupp spokesman Dennis Van Milligen emailed a statement to the newspaper that said, "First and foremost on our minds is the wellbeing and recovery of the JPS Hospital employee injured on January 20, 2019. We are working closely with the hospital and the state in connection with this matter. The elevators underwent an annual state inspection by a qualified elevator inspector in March and April of 2018. Thyssenkrupp also performed a walk-through and inspection on January 20, 2019, of the elevators on the hospital’s campus at JPS's request. The elevators were found to be operating correctly and in a safe manner. We are continuing to work with JPS to ensure the highest level of responsiveness and service of its elevators."

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