Every day in retail stores, malls, airports and vacation spots across America, children are exposed to unnecessary dangers while riding defectively designed and poorly maintained escalators. Our firm is currently investigating a case that involves a four-year-old child who suffered serious hand injuries on an escalator while on vacation in Washington, D.C. The victim was on a vacation trip with her family and they were using an escalator to exit a Metro Station as they began their day sightseeing. Although her mother was holding her hand, as they began to ride up the escalator the child apparently stumbled and instinctively put her hand down to steady herself. Unfortunately, the defective escalator caught her hand and trapped it, resulting in severe lacerations. This child and her family have suffered greatly as a result of this incident and will continue to do so as she adjusts and undergoes future medical procedures.
Unfortunately, because our firm has handled many of these cases before, our lawyers are aware that this was not an isolated incident. Experts in the escalator and elevator business have testified that there are approximately 8,000 serious escalator-related injuries reported each year. Incredibly, they also state that 18 to 20 deaths are caused each year by defective escalators. Our research and experience has shown that escalator manufacturers are aware of the dangers but in many cases have taken no action to make their products safer.
In fact, several manufacturers have had to pay significant jury verdicts because of injuries that could have been prevented. Amazingly, according to a Washington Examiner news article reporting on our client’s incident, Washington Metro experiences an average of 10.8 injuries on its escalators each month.
Although adults are occasionally injured, the overwhelming majority of escalator injuries are inflicted upon children. Parents should never allow unsupervised children to ride on or play around an escalator, but this tragic incident underscores the fact that even close parental supervision cannot prevent an injury caused by such a dangerous device. If you want additional information, contact Mike Andrews, a lawyer in our Personal Injury Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Michael.Andrews@beasleyallen.com.
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