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Elevator Accidents in California

Woman Killed in Elevator Accident

Elevator incidents are scary. A lot of people have a fear of elevators on a good day let alone having an incident in one.  A forty-eight year old woman, Annette Lujan somehow got stuck in an elevator recently. Annette is a mother of two so I’m sure she had all sorts of things to worry about.

Apparently the doors of the elevator were wedged open between the second and third floors. Lujan is an employee at the University. She tried to get herself out b trying to crawl out and to the third floor. The elevator moved and sadly crushed her.  It would be hard for anyone to survive the crashing 2,000 pounds.

Fire Department Capt. Rich Brandt’s Statement:

The elevator was stuck between floors and it appears she tried to get out somehow. When she got halfway out, the elevator moved.


According to the Vice President of University Relations there were no problems previously reported with the elevator and everything was up to code.  Cal/OSHA says that the elevators were indeed inspected last April. However, several of the employees did say that the elevators haven’t been working well for the last couple of weeks.

Elevator Inspection

The University is now focused on figuring out how this incident happened and says that this is “devastating news”.

Vice President, Administration and Finance Mary Stephens Statement:

I am very sad to inform you that this morning, due to an unfortunate incident at the Foundation Building, a member of our campus community has died. At this time, we are notifying family members and a complete investigation involving University Police and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has been initiated. deepest condolences to the family.

While sending condolences is nice, I’m sure it doesn’t help the family. When they find out that the elevators weren’t working properly and that the staff knew, I look for a lengthy court battle or a settlement for the family.

The identity of the female victim hasn’t been released. They did say that that the woman did work on the Campus and in the Office of Research for Grants and Contracts.

Leslie Davila, a student worries about what this might mean for the safety of other elevators, saying “Now it makes you think of the other buildings. It happened here what if there is another faulty elevator in another building.”

The front part of State University Drive was closed while officials investigated.

Young Woman Injured in Elevator Accident

It took more than an hour to free a woman after a 2,000-pound elevator dropped onto her at Cal State Long Beach on Wednesday, authorities said. She died at the scene.

The victim, Annette Lujan, 48, of Huntington Beach, was a nine-year employee of the university’s grants and contracts office, officials said.

Lujan was riding the elevator in the Cal State Long Beach Foundation building when it apparently got stuck between the second and third floor.

Lujan climbed out of the elevator, but the car started moving again, Capt. Rich Brandt of the Long Beach Fire Department told the Daily 49er student newspaper.

Car Drops on Woman

The car dropped onto her, crushing her. Brandt said the car weighed 2,000 pounds and that it took more than an hour to lift the elevator off her.University police and the Long Beach Fire Department were called to the scene after someone reported that Lujan was trapped.

The cause of the elevator malfunction is under investigation.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Industrial Relations told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the elevator had been inspected in April and received a clean bill of health. The state is now investigating the death. Officials said the incident underscores the dangers of people trying to climb out of elevators when they break down.

Worker Injured in Elevator Shaft Incident

A man who was working near an open elevator shaft in Simi Valley was in critical condition after falling into it from the building’s second floor Thursday afternoon.

The construction worker, said to be about 30, was taken to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, said Steve Swindle, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

The incident along the 4800 block of East Cochran Street was reported at 1:34 p.m.

The four-story building in which the man was working is under construction, Swindle said.

The incident remained under investigation Thursday afternoon.

Investigation in Elevator Shaft Accident

Elevator incidents can be tricky. Did someone purposely mess with the elevators? Or was is just a freak incident?

More than 11,000 elevators across the states were actually red flagged by Cal/OSHA. Call me crazy but that sounds like a pretty high number. Those numbers include them having outstanding issues. 756 of those elevators were found in San Francisco alone.

Jordan’s Statement:

When I watched your interview, [the state] said just because an [elevator] permit is expired, it doesn’t mean anyone is going to get hurt. Well, I’m an example of somebody who got hurt.


The public is now armed with this information so now I’m sure the investigations will ensue. Elevators are pretty common especially in any city or town. So building inspectors and owners have to make sure things are staying up to code. If not things might not go so well for the owners if an incident does happen. Settlements are common because, what can you argue? If things were working properly then the incident wouldn’t have happened.

Daniel A. Gibalevich
Law Offices of Daniel A. Gibalevich

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