Escalator Injury: A Rising and Falling Danger

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From the first time you saw one, when you were just a little kid, you suspected they weren’t safe. There was just something about the sliding sheets of metal rising and falling with no visible safety mechanisms that was downright frightening. But after seeing enough people use one, you convinced yourself they are safe. After all, if escalators weren’t safe, every mall in America wouldn’t have one.

But just when you finally completely convince yourself that you were wrong, a terrible tragedy reminds you just how unsafe machines can be. A recent case from the Washington Square Mall in Oregon serves as a grim reminder of how devastating injuries can occur incredibly quickly.

On August 20th, 2014, a two-year-old had accompanied his mother to the mall. Mom only looked away for a second, just long enough for the child’s hand to become caught in the escalator. By the time she reached down to save him, the boy had already lost two fingers to the machine.

These types of incidents are far too common, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and injury can be caused by:

  • Clothing becoming trapped in the machine
  • A small child reaching between the revolving stairs
  • Mechanical failure of the escalator

Though escalator accidents can be nothing more than accidents, there is also the possibility that the incident might never have occurred if not for negligence on the part of the property owners. Too many businesses defer maintenance on their equipment until something terrible happens, and there are dozens of parts in an escalator that become dangerous if upkeep isn’t properly performed. If you or someone you love was injured in an escalator accident, please contact a qualified attorney to help you determine whether there was negligence on the part of the property owner.