I would say that one of the top ten fears that a lot of normal people have is a fear of being stuck inside an elevator with no way out. This is certainly a reasonable fear, seeing as elevators combine three commonly held fears: heights, small spaces and speed. As I mentioned a while back, the fear of a stuck elevator has been a well-worn occurrence in movies, like the recent film Devil, where a group of people get stuck in an elevator with the Devil himself.
However, for employees at the KCI Tower in San Antonio, Texas, the effects of being trapped are not entertaining at all. According to a story in Fire Engineering, Kinetic Concepts, Inc. has filed a lawsuit regarding repeated stoppages in the buildings elevators:
“Eleven employees were trapped in an elevator for more than 40 minutes two months ago, prompting a call to the Fire Department to free them.
On another occasion last summer, several employees were in an elevator when it suddenly zoomed upward before coming to a jolting stop. KCI’s President and CEO Catherine Burzik got stuck for a few minutes the same day.
KCI outlines the incidents, along with an array of other elevator-related glitches, in its breach-of-lease suit against the building’s multiple owners and property manager. The medical-device maker, one of San Antonio’s largest public companies, alleges the elevator malfunctions have disrupted its business operations.”
The company that runs the elevators maintains that the lifts are in proper working order, but KCI isn’t buying it. The lawsuit it has filed lists a number of incidents:
“KCI, in its lawsuit, cited an array of issues with the elevators since 2008. They include ‘abrupt ‘jerking’ movements,’ stopping on all floors or going to floors not requested, doors either closing rapidly or slowly, and the elevators stopping ‘off level’ with the nearest floor.
No employees have been hurt in any of the incidents it cites, Izbrand said, but ‘we have had some minor incidents of employees suffering some anxiety.’”