This month in New Jersey, two parents have filed a lawsuit after their son's foot became trapped in an escalator in 2014. The seven year old has since lost the toes on his right foot after undergoing multiple surgeries on his foot and lower leg over the course of a month. The suit names both the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and the Schindler Corporation, which manufactured the escalator, as defendants in the case.
The incident occurred during a family Christmas shopping excursion in December, two years ago. The boy, his parents, and his aunt were riding down from the second to the first floor of the mall when the mother, Maria Jimenez, heard her child's “piercing screams,” according to the suit. She saw that his “right foot began to be dragged into a widening gap between the step he was standing on and the right side skirt panel.”
The escalator continued until someone in the mall pressed the emergency button, at which point Jimenez tried to pull the boy out of the apparatus, but she was unsuccessful. Local firefighters and medical crew had to be called in to extract the boy using hydraulic tools, which took between 20 and 30 minutes, during which his family watched “helplessly.” The suit states that the boy was screaming the whole time.
The boy initially suffered from a partial toe amputation and a complete “degloving” of his skin from the toes on his right foot. “Degloving” refers to a kind of injury in which skin is completely torn off of the underlying tissue, typically in extremities. The term refers to the way the skin is taken off, like a glove. This injury leaves the tissue underneath vulnerable to infection and difficult to salvage.
After initial assessment, the boy was flown from St. Mary Medical Center to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where the toes on his right foot were all amputated. The lawsuit states that, at the time of the injury, the boy was wearing lace-up sneakers that had been properly tied. Now, he is unable to walk normally.
The lawsuit claims damages for the emotional trauma sustained by the boy and by his family, as well as compensation for medical bills, including the surgery. The family alleges that both the hospital and the escalator manufacturer were negligent in their duty to perform regular maintenance on the equipment.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, such as an escalator, there may be multiple parties liable for the incident. Attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work hard to explore all your possible options for just compensation. For a consultation on your next possible steps, call (800) 529-6162 or contact them online.