Child’s Brain Injury Prompts Recall of South Carolina Elevators

The catastrophic brain injury suffered by a 10-year-old boy who was crushed in an elevator has prompted the South Carolina-based elevator distributor to recall about 240 of the machines. elevator.jpg

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Elmira Hydraulic elevators, installed mostly in homes, have been cited in three reports of elevator injuries – including this one, sustained by a child visiting the state from Maryland. The recall of Coastal Caroline Elevators (formerly Seaside Elevator) encompasses all models distributed through residential home builders (including DRHorton) in South Carolina from January 2006 through December 2009. The reportedly defective elevators were in the price range of $16,000 to $25,000.

According to the recall notice, the elevator can operate while the gate is open, which puts riders at crushing hazard. The residential hydraulic elevators were installed in homes with numerous floors, and they have a manual, accordion-style gate door. The label “Cambridge Elevating” is on the button panel. Consumers are instructed to immediately stop using the machines and contact the distributor for a free repair.

The CPSC reports some 1,600 people were hurt on home elevators over a recent two-year period. Many of these incidents involved children who got stuck between the elevators’ inside and outside doors.

Last year, CBS News reported on the issue, detailing the incident involving a 10-year-old from Baltimore, who was rendered permanently paralyzed and silent after the encounter at a rented beach home in South Carolina.

The boy’s mother described the boy as active, involved in wrestling, football and baseball. He also excelled in school and was very close to his family. And then he stepped into that elevator, and everything changed. As the boy entered, he wasn’t totally inside before the elevator continued its upward trajectory, crushing him.

The same thing reportedly happened to a 3-year-old in Atlanta. According to news reports, the incident happened in his own home on Christmas Eve. The elevator had been installed for use by an elderly relative to move around the house with greater ease. The child opened the elevator door, but the cab’s accordion gate didn’t open, which left him trapped between the two doors. He was crushed once the elevator started moving.

The family later said they assumed that like commercial elevators, sensors would prevent the cab from moving if someone was inside. The problem is that residential elevators are not subject to the same level of regulation as commercial elevators.

The South Carolina Elevator Code is listed in Section 41-16-10 of the South Carolina Code, and allows for inspections of all new elevators and routine inspections of commercial elevators. The law also states the owner has a duty to maintain the elevator in a safe operating condition.

Our South Carolina elevator injury attorneys are prepared to answer your questions about legal options for compensation stemming from injuries caused by elevator defects or malfunctions.

Contact our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Child’s brain injury prompts recall of elevators sold by Coastal Carolina Elevators, March 20, 2015, WECT.com

More Blog Entries:
Needham v. Price – Parental Immunity Doctrine Won’t Bar NC Child Injury Claim, Feb. 26, 2015, Spartanburg Injury Lawyer Blog

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