I previously made several posts about this incident. Here are the titles and links.
I reported about an elevator incident in Ames, Iowa and today ... Elevator Inspections and Maintenance – Were they performed? What is going on in Ames, Iowa? ... 101k
Why aren't the investigative reports from the Ames, Iowa elevator death case not being released? We reported earlier on this matter. ... 101k
... Ames, Iowa: 19-year-old falls seven stories down elevator shaft of working elevator. ... 101k
... Why aren't the investigative reports from the Ames, Iowa elevator death case not being released? We reported earlier on this matter. ... 101k
After returning from vacation I see there is a critical updated on the investigative findings by the Iowa Workforce elevator inspectors. Let’s see where this new evidence points us in terms of liability.
The Iowa Workforce Development elevator inspectors have concluded a safety retainer bracket that is supposed to hold the elevator door in place had been damaged in a previous incident. The doors had previously been found out of their tracks about two months previous to the young Illinois gentleman who fell to his death when the doors collapsed into the shaft. He was pushed by a friend when they were horsing around. But that doesn’t seem all that significant; the horsing around doesn’t seem to be the cause of the door caving in. What it appears likely is that had the door been properly maintained or fixed that it would have held in place that night of June 6, 2009 when Robert Pawlak, 19 of Downers Grove, Illinois got pushed by his friend.
Apparently the state elevator inspectors using subpoenas obtained copies of the inspection reports from December 2008 to the present which provided evidence of the previous problem and prying of the doors to sort of fix them.
So the question is whether this maintenance was proper and legal under the law and standards for fixing elevators. It seems difficult to imagine it is, but I could be wrong; I just don’t know until I’ve read the state reports and the maintenance records. Experts in a wrongful death case on behalf of the decedent will include elevator inspectors and the maintenance person. The statute of limitations in a case such as this would appear to be two years.
It’s interesting to note the Iowa Workforce Development site shows during the latter part of 2008 there were 10,735 elevators in Iowa. Of those 10,735 existing elevators 1,413 were inspected from July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 and from October through December 31, 2008 another 1,615 were inspected. Source, Labor Service Report, Iowa Workforce.
For additional reading see the following articles in the Des Moines Register and the Ames Tribune. The KCCI article was not available.
By GUNNAR OLSON • [email protected] • July 16, 2009
The Des Moines Register • July 3, 2009
GUNNAR OLSON • [email protected] • July 2, 2009
Archives > Ames Tribune > News
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SEE:
INSTALLATION AND DESIGN CHECKLIST FOR ELEVATORS IN THE STATE OF IOWA
Petition for Reconsideration of an Elevator Inspection Report
Iowa Division of Labor, 1000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209
Division of Labor Services
Chapter 65 - Elevator Safety Board Administrative and Regulatory Authority
Chapter 66 - Waivers or Variances From Administrative Rules by the Elevator Safety Board
Chapter 67 - Elevator Safety Board
Petitions for Rule Making
Chapter 68 - Declaratory Orders by the Elevator Safety Board
Chapter 69 - Contested Cases Before the Elevator Safety Board
Chapter 70 - Public Records and Fair Information Practices of the Elevator Safety Board
Iowa Workforce Development Newsletter from 3rd quarter 2007 has this interesting note:
Our condolences to the families of……
• Rick Glenney, 52, was crushed when frozen product fell on him in Ft. Dodge.
• Melanie Selken, 54, fell while riding a belt man lift up and went over the top, falling eight stories in Ansgar.
• Bradley Mills, 38, became caught under equipment after crawling up the side of a bin which fell and he was buried
in the sand in Milford.
• Dennis Lammers, 52, caught on fire during an explosion while loading gasoline into a tanker in Sioux Center.
• Elizabeth Myers, 44, inhaled toxic levels of ammonia when new refrigerant piping was installed and the stop valve was opened in Evansdale.