Escalator accidents often occur when they suddenly stop, have wet surfaces, or have bent or loose metal teeth. Most people view escalators and elevators as just a means of getting from one point to another and use them without hesitation or thought.
You may remember, in 2013 a 10-year-old girl shopping for the return to school suffered tremendously after her leg, up to her calf, was drug through the comb plate at the top of an escalator in Macy’s. Her injury caused her to be hospitalized for three months, lose two toes, suffer respiratory failure, kidney issues and undergo a total of 22 surgeries.
ThyssenKrupp is the company that performed maintenance on the escalator, and Macy’s is the store in which the said escalator is in use. Records show the escalator itself was installed in 1958. A state inspection certification for the escalator expired in 2013 before the accident; a previous inspection was stopped by a manager stating it was disrupting the store, and an inspector stated that steps on at least one of the escalators in the store weren't properly running smoothly and maintenance was necessary.
Just one day prior to this major accident another customer’s shoe got caught in the escalator. Ultimately ThyssenKrupp and Macy’s agreed to a settlement of $15 million in federal court earlier this year, but neither accepted liability. The amount settled was made public after the victim’s attorney rejected a request for a confidentiality clause from the defendants’. The judge closed the case the same day, and ThyssenKrupp stated that Macy’s is no longer a customer of theirs.
This case is a prime example of premises liability, and one of the common circumstances responsible for a horrific escalator accident was poor maintenance shown in reports and records. Securing rightful compensation for every one of our clients is the goal at Meyerkord & Kurth. Our professional and compassionate personal injury attorneys have secured over $300 million in jury verdicts and insurance settlements. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a property owner and have questions, call our office in St. Louis and we can help you with a plan of action.