Ten US Elevator Accidents since 2019

Since 2019, major elevator accidents in the U.S. have resulted in fatalities and injuries. According to a study, elevators cause an estimated 30 deaths and 17,000 injuries annually in the United States. [1] This highlights the potential dangers of elevator malfunctions and the need for improved safety measures.

The common causes of elevator accidents include door malfunction, electrical failure, slips and falls from elevators, failure of hoist cables, elevator breakdown, sudden stopping between floors, failure of the alarm bell, and more. 

Our list of ten U.S. elevator accidents includes the following:

1. Man crushed to death (August 2019)

2. Elevator accident killed warehouse worker in Philadelphia (November 2023)

3. Rescue teams save two injured individuals from elevator shaft fall (December 2022)

4. Man injured in elevator accident (August 2020)

5. 18-Year-old killed when elevator falls (September 2021)

6. Woman fatally crushed by in-home elevator accident in Texas (July 2021)

7. Woman lost her life in an elevator accident (May 2021)

8. Nurse severely injured in JPS hospital elevator accident (January 2019)

9. 7-Year-Old Boy From Ohio Died In Residential Elevator Accident (July 2021)

10. Construction Worker Killed, Another Injured In Bronx Elevator Collapse (May 2021)

man entering elevator

A man was fatally crushed in New York.

On August 22, 2019, a tragic incident occurred in a 23-story building in New York, resulting in the death of a man due to an elevator accident. The 30-year-old victim was exiting the elevator in the lobby of his residence. [2]

Unfortunately, the elevator malfunctioned, causing it to drop and fatally trap him between the car and the shaft wall. In May, the building was fined almost $1,300 by New York’s Department of Buildings.


A fatal elevator accident claimed the life of a warehouse worker in Philadelphia.

In a fatal elevator accident on November 24, 2023, reportedly, a 48-year-old worker tragically lost his life at a commercial warehouse undergoing renovations in Philadelphia, as confirmed by local law enforcement. The individual was within the elevator shaft when it descended a substantial 20 feet, resulting in severe head trauma. [3]

Despite the efforts of on-site medical personnel, the man was declared deceased. 

A fatal elevator accident claimed the life of a warehouse worker in Philadelphia.

Rescue teams successfully saved two injured individuals following an elevator shaft fall.

On December 9, 2022, firefighters conducted a daring rescue at a Target store in New York after two individuals fell three stories down an elevator shaft. [4]

Reportedly, a male store employee in his 20s was involved in an altercation with a 16-year-old boy as he escorted him out of the store. During the dispute, they inadvertently collided with the elevator doors, which unexpectedly opened, causing both individuals to plummet down the shaft.

The teenager landed on the top of the elevator cab while the employee somehow slipped into the narrow gap between the lift shaft and the cab. Responding firefighters took swift action, managing to extricate the two relatively quickly.


A man was injured in an elevator incident.

A man sustained injuries after plummeting ten floors within an elevator. [5] The episode occurred on August 7, 2020, at a construction site located in Kensington, Philadelphia.

Law enforcement revealed that the 26-year-old man was in the elevator when a cable malfunctioned, causing the elevator to descend ten floors until it hit the ground.

A man was injured in an elevator incident.

An 18-year-old died in an elevator accident.

The unfortunate death of an 18-year-old student-athlete occurred on September 2, 2021, in a student housing building in Georgia due to a harrowing elevator accident. [6] During the tragic incident, three football players, including the victim, were utilizing the elevator to attend practice when the elevator started to descend.

The elevator halted and opened on the third floor, allowing two players to disembark. Subsequently, when the victim attempted to exit, the elevator suddenly plummeted. The 18-year-old was trapped and crushed between the top of the elevator and the floor of the shaft for nearly an hour before he could be rescued.


A woman died after an in-home elevator fell in Texas.

A 72-year-old woman lost her life when an in-home elevator malfunctioned, resulting in a fatal accident in Texas. The incident occurred when the elevator unexpectedly fell from the second floor to the first floor, tragically trapping the woman underneath. [7]

The duration of time she was trapped remains uncertain. However, a family member discovered her underneath the elevator and sought assistance from a neighbor. With the aid of a floor jack, they managed to extract her from the entrapment. Despite the immediate arrival of paramedics and first responders, their efforts to save the woman’s life unfortunately proved unsuccessful.

A woman died after an in-home elevator fell in Texas.

A tragic elevator accident claimed the life of a woman in Texas.

A woman lost her life on May 13, 2021, when she fell from an elevator. [8] The incident occurred at a home in Texas. Two women in their 60s fell about 15 feet from an elevator.

It is believed the fall occurred due to a door on the outdoor elevator being left ajar and catching on the underside of a deck as the elevator went up. It caused the women to be spilled from the elevator upon impact with the building.


A nurse was severely injured in a hospital elevator accident.

A nurse was injured in a lift accident at a hospital in Texas, and remained in a coma for 15 days. [9] While entering the elevator, her right foot was injured as the elevator continued moving upwards.

The incident resulted in hypoxic brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, leading her to undergo multiple surgeries. Brake failure from a lack of maintenance caused this unfortunate elevator accident.

A nurse was severely injured in a hospital elevator accident.

A seven-year-old boy from Ohio passed away in a residential elevator accident.

The lift incident occurred on North Carolina as a 7-year-old boy from Ohio lost his life after being trapped between an elevator car and its shaft in a vacation rental home. [10]

The emergency workers responded to a distress call at a house, where they found the boy without a pulse and stuck in the elevator. Although rescuers managed to free him swiftly, their resuscitation efforts were unfortunately unsuccessful.


A construction worker was killed, and another was injured in an elevator collapse in New York.

One person lost their life, and another was injured when an elevator fell in a building under construction. [11] The incident occurred on May 19, 2021, in New York. They were inside an elevator and some equipment when the elevator rapidly descended from the fourth floor to ground level.

Common factors among these incidents include malfunctions in the elevator mechanics, lack of proper maintenance and inspection, aged lifts, free-falling elevator accidents, and inadequate safety features. These accidents highlight the importance of regular maintenance and safety checks for elevators to prevent such tragic outcomes.

The elevator industry is highly regulated and relies on rigorous accident investigation protocols to ensure safety. When a lift contractor signs a maintenance contract, confirming that safety circuits are regularly checked to properly control elevators is important.

Elevator accidents can lead to severe injuries, and victims have the right to seek compensation for their damages. Therefore, taking legal action following an elevator accident in the U.S. is possible. Legal action may involve filing a lawsuit against the property owner, maintenance company, or elevator manufacturer, depending on the circumstances and liability factors surrounding the accident. If you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit

Is It Possible for Me to Take Legal Action Following an Elevator Accident?

Consult Goldberg & Loren’s personal injury lawyers to seek the compensation you deserve. Book a free consultation today!


[1] Deaths and Injuries Involving Elevators and Escalators. (2013). CPWR. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from https://www.cpwr.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/elevator_escalator_BLSapproved_1.pdf

[2] Quinn, D., & Pasquini, M. (2019, August 22). Man, 30, Crushed to Death When 'Super Scary' Elevator Suddenly Drops in N.Y.C. Apartment Building. Peoplemag. https://people.com/human-interest/man-crushed-nyc-apartment-elevator/

[3] Terruso, J. (2023, November 24). Worker dies after falling down a South Philly warehouse elevator shaft. https://www.inquirer.com/news/worker-killed-elevator-wolf-street-philadelphia-20231124.html

[4] 2 people rescued after being injured in fall down elevator shaft at Target store in the Bronx. (2022, December 9). ABC7 New York. https://abc7ny.com/elevator-shaft-fall-bronx-target-falling-accident-rescue-from/12544710/

[5] Elevator falls 10 floors in Kensington after cable snaps, man injured: Police. (2020, August 6). 6abc Philadelphia. https://6abc.com/elevator-accident-2nd-street-kensington-cable-snaps/6357900/

[6] Staff, W. (2021, September 2). 18-year-old killed when elevator falls, crushing him. https://www.kktv.com/2021/09/02/18-year-old-killed-when-elevator-falls-crushing-him/

[7] Boydston, T. (2021, July 13). Woman dead after in-home elevator falls in Wichita County. https://www.newschannel6now.com/2021/07/13/woman-dead-after-in-home-elevator-falls-wichita-county/

[8] Woman dies after fall from Crystal Beach elevator | Police News. (2021, May). Galvnews. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from https://www.galvnews.com/news/police/free/article_12760b3d-b420-5ac7-8ac3-97e0605829de.html

[9] Nurse injured in JPS elevator accident was in a coma for 15 days, suffered brain damage. (2019, February). WFAA. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/nurse-injured-in-jps-elevator-accident-was-in-a-coma-for-15-days-suffered-brain-damage/287-eba8ca7b-5c20-4ac8-805d-848d85da7853

[10] 7-Year-Old Boy From Ohio Dies In North Carolina Home Elevator Accident. (2021, July 14). CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/7-year-old-boy-dies-in-north-carolina-home-elevator-accident/

[11] Construction Worker Killed, Another Injured In Bronx Elevator Collapse. (2021, May 19). CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/bronx-elevator-collapse/

Share This Article


Recent Posts

Get a Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Us

We're available

Get a Free Consultation

Pay Nothing, Unless We Win

"*" indicates required fields

Full Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.