UTMB sued for $1M after man injured in malfunctioning elevator

Andrea Dearden Sep. 12, 2014, 3:55pm

A Galveston County man is asking for more than $1 million after he was allegedly hurt in a University of Texas hospital elevator.

Terry Ballard filed a lawsuit Aug. 12 in Galveston County District Court against University of Texas Systems, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and John Sealy Hospital. Otis Elevator Co. is also named as a defendant.  

Ballard says he took his wife to John Sealy Hospital for medical treatment in September 2012. After he entered an elevator and the doors closed, Ballard says the car began to descend but then reversed direction and rapidly climbed.

According to the complaint, the elevator reached the top, then crashed down, throwing Ballard around the car. He says he was treated at the hospital's trauma center for back and neck injuries caused by the elevator malfunction.

Ballard accuses the hospital, UTMB at Galveston, the University of Texas Systems and Otis Elevator of negligence for allegedly failing to properly maintain the elevator system or warn passengers of its dangers.

He also alleges the defendants are liable for his injuries. Ballard seeks more than $1 million in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, plus court fees.

Attorney John Pat Parsons, of Beaumont, represents Ballard. They ask for a jury trial.

The case number is Galveston County District Court case 14-CV-0855.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Galveston County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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