Escalators in shopping centers and department stores are often a welcome relief for shoppers who are weary from walking. They can also be dangerous. Because an escalator is typically designed as an entire metal staircase looping around itself, it is easy for shoelaces, pieces of clothing or body parts to be pulled under the stairs, causing great injury. Without proper maintenance, older escalators may leave businesses open to premises liability claims.
Frequently, signs near escalators warn people to avoiding certain clothing and behaviors that might make riders vulnerable to injury. One mother says her son followed those rules, including lacing up his sneakers, before getting on the escalator in a Pennsylvania mall. Nevertheless, as the escalator descended, the boy’s right foot was caught in a gap at the side of the moving stairs. The escalator continued dragging the y-year-old’s foot into the machinery until an employee heard the child’s screams and hit the emergency stop button.
It took emergency responders nearly half an hour to free the screaming child’s foot from the escalator. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent numerous surgeries over the next month, including the amputation of all the toes on his right foot. The boy’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania elevator company and the mall.
The premises liability claim asserts that both entities failed to maintain the escalator, and that the resulting accident left their son permanently disfigured. The incident also caused trauma for the family members who looked on and financial hardship after medical bills began arriving. With the help of a lawyer, families like this one can pursue damages when it is believed that injuries resulted after a business failed to take reasonable steps to repair and maintain escalators for the use of the general public.
This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Source: nj.com, “Parents sue after 7-year-old boy loses toes in escalator accident“, Anna Merriman, Jan. 11, 2017