Runaway Elevator in Houston Skyscraper Gives Women Wild Ride

Two women have sued Chevron U.S.A., Inc. claiming they were trapped and injured in an apparent runaway elevator in the company’s downtown building earlier this year.

A woman was taken to the hospital when she and two other people were rescued after spending a terrifying hour stuck in a broken elevator on the top floor of the old Enron skyscraper in downtown Houston Thursday morning.

The frightening ride began at 8:30 a.m. at 1400 Smith near Bell in the 50-story high-rise building, which is now occupied by Chevron, said Jay Evans, a spokesman for the Houston Fire Department.

Leslie Williams and Victoria Martinez claim in their lawsuit that on February 7th they were in an elevator that malfunctioned. The suit claims that the women were trapped in the elevator on the 39th floor as they were heading to the lobby for breakfast. The women called for help on the elevator’s intercom and spoke on and off with security staff for approximately 40 minutes.

All of a sudden, the elevator began to move slowly for just a few feet before it zoomed upward, crashing into the top of the shaft at the 50th floor, according to the lawsuit.

Evans said firefighters rode up an adjacent elevator to the 50th floor. They climbed out of the hatch in the roof of the car and crawled over to the malfunctioned lift. Firefighters dropped a ladder through the elevator roof and helped the women climb out. Then, according to the suit, the women jumped onto the roof of another elevator car, where the firefighters secured each person with a harness, safely lifting them out of the broken elevator.

The suit states Martinez sustained injuries to her lower back, left leg and ankle, as well as emotional stress.

Williams, according to the suit, was diagnosed with a fractured left foot, suffered closed head trauma and sustained a lumbosacral strain.  In addition, the suit states, she has emotional stress and claustrophobia.

The lawsuit was initially filed in Harris County State District Court on March 4th. It was received in U.S. District Court in May after the defendants requested the federal courts handle this case, as the proper jurisdiction for the suit.

For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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