JPS Hospital gives new details into elevator accident that injured nurse

Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital finally revealed details about last month's elevator accident that critically injured an employee.

Nurse Carren Stratford remains in the intensive care unit at JPS following the incident.

Hospital officials are pointing the finger at the vendor that maintains their elevators for an array of problems they have had.

Up until now, this has been a war of words, with JPS not sharing many specifics, but pointing blame at elevator company Thyssenkrupp.

MORE: JPS Health Network CEO criticizes elevator company

Hospital officials spoke on Friday, and said legal action could be right around the corner.

It was at elevator 29 at JPS Hospital that a routine elevator trip turned into an accident that's shaken the JPS community.

“This woman came to work and she didn't leave work,” said Robert Early, CEO of JPS Health Network. “She's been in our ICU since January 20.”

During Friday’s news conference, Earley gave new insight into the incident that injured nurse Carren Stratford, a mother of two.

Earley said Stratford was getting on the elevator when it continued to rise. When she put her right foot on the elevator, it threw her off balance. The elevator kept rising and then crushed her.

“I’ve been the CEO here for 11 years, and I've never had a worse day than on January 20,” Early said.

Stratford's attorney, Frank Branson, said Stratford has brain damage, internal injuries, and suffers from seizures.

Branson didn't mince words when discussing the elevator vendor Thyssenkrupp.

“I would go so far to say if Thyssenkrupp Elevator were trying to build a house instead of maintaining elevators safely, they would have put the basement on the second floor,” Branson said.

JPS officials said they have continued to have elevator issues since the incident.

Earley pointed out three elevators that were down Friday.

Hospital officials said they are trying to get Thyssenkrupp -- whom the hospital has a contract with -- to fix the issues, but they also might explore legal action.

“The one thing we're not is elevator experts,” Earley said. “We do trauma care, cancer care, clinic care. We are not elevator experts. You hire elevator experts, and we thought we had elevator experts.”

FOX 4’s Blake Hanson emailed and called multiple press contacts for Thyssenkrupp a few weeks ago, and on Friday, but has not yet received any response.