A college freshman was killed in a dormitory elevator accident two years ago at Ohio State University.
Ohio State has taken safety measures, such as installing video cameras in all its high-rise elevators this year, in case someone gets trapped and as a way to help identify causes of mechanical malfunctions.
One other student (Morris) was in the elevator when the freshman was crushed between the ceiling of the elevator and the third-floor lobby. The fatally injured student was trying to get off the overloaded elevator when it unexpectedly descended with its doors open.
Morris is suing Ohio State, Otis Elevator and Abell/Irvin Elevator Service, as well as companies affiliated with Otis and Abell, claiming defective design and construction and negligence.
Morris claims that the mental and emotional distress of seeing the freshman die has required him to get ongoing counseling.
The Ohio Department of Commerce, which follows the safety of Columbus elevators, determined that the brakes failed in the Stradley elevator that killed Polakowski. Mechanical studies after the accident found that the elevator would not hold the amount of weight it was supposed to — 3,125 pounds.
Load-weighing devices are being added on all high-rise OSU dorm elevators that would stop the elevator from moving if it reached 85 percent or more of its capacity. Rope grippers, devices that stop an elevator’s fall, also have been installed this year in all high-rise dorm elevators.