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PA & NJ Escalator Accidents - Who May Be Responsible?


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1/2/2015
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I went to the mall this weekend to return some holiday gifts and saw some kids running up and down the escalators in the mall.  I had to use the escalator to go to the second floor, and one of the kids ran by me on the escalator.  As he passed me, I could not help but tell him that he should not be running up and down the escalator or playing on it because he could get hurt.  It reminded me of a news report I saw a couple of weeks ago.

Earlier this month, a seven year old boy was injured after he got stuck in an escalator at the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA, which is about 24 miles outside of Philadelphia, PA.  According to the news report, the boy was shopping with his mother when his foot got trapped in the escalator.  Another shopper pressed the escalator's emergency button to alert the mall security.  It took about 29 minutes to extricate the boy from the escalator.  The boy was later flown to CHOP.  The cause of the accident is under investigation, and mall representatives told reporters that the escalator was recently inspected.  *Source: www.6abc.com (Boy gets stuck in escalator at Oxford Valley Mall)

In this boy's case, could the accident have been avoided? Perhaps, but a thorough investigation would need to be conducted. 

Related: Slip & Fall Accidents In Airports Such As The Philadelphia Airport

Usually, when a child's foot or part of a child's foot is caught in an escalator, it is usually caught or trapped in a "comb plate."  A comb plate is a piece of material between the stationary floor plate and the moving step.  Its edge looks like the teeth of a comb.  It is at the bottom and top of the escalator.  If the distance between the moving step and comb plate is too big, a part of the shoe or a child's foot can get caught in it.  In addition, if the combs on the comb plate break, that creates room or a gap for a part of a shoe to get caught.  Therefore, it is crucial for escalators to be inspected and maintained regularly.

In this case if the company negligently inspected and maintained the escalator prior to the boy's accident, the company may be responsible for the boy's injuries and damages.  For instance, if the comb plate needed to be replaced but company failed to do so, the company may be liable.

Some of the damages the boy may be able to recover are:

  • medical expenses, including future medical expenses,
  • out of pocket expenses, such as medical devices,
  • pain and suffering.

Help After An Escalator Accident In PA Or NJ

If your child was injured in an escalator accident, call the personal injury lawyers at White and Williams to schedule a FREE consultation.  Daniel J. O'Brien, Esq. has 30 years of experience in handling accident injury cases.  FREE consultations. 877.944.8396



Category: Premises Liability

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