HUNTINGTON -- A Cabell County couple has filed a suit against an elevator company, saying its negligence caused the man to "free fall" until he crashed on top of an elevator car while on the job.

Ronald and Janice Blake filed the suit against Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation on Dec. 5 in federal court. Ronald Blake was employed by the Thyssenkrupp as an elevator mechanic. He says he was not made aware that the elevator in question was defected and thus injured.

According to the suit, Thyssenkrupp knew the permanent magnet motors driving its elevator cars could not only travel at excessive and unsafe speed, but they also could go in unexpected or unintended directions.

Blake was one of two employees who were called upon and directed to service an elevator in Ashland, Ky., at King's Daughter Medical Center that was non-operational.

While servicing the elevator from the top of the elevator car, they attempted to raise the car in order to trouble shoot the problem. The elevator unexpectedly moved downward and dropped at 600 feet per minute, and Blake says he fell until he crashed on top of the car and sustained multiple injuries.

Janice Blake, his wife, says she has been denied consortium, services and companionship of her husband. The Blakes seek compensation for damages for lost wages and future loss of earning capacity, damages for pain and suffering, attorney fees and any other economic or special damages allowed by law.

Attorney Todd A. Biddle is representing the Blakes.

U.S. Federal Court case number: 3:08-1392

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