That depends, according to lawyer Landau, on what steps the store took — or did not take — to ensure the safe operation of its escalators.
Safety standards for escalators (and elevators for that matter) are set by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In particular, ASME A-17 sets consistent standards for the construction, installation, use, maintenance, alteration, repair, etc. of these moving conveyances. Section 6 of A-17 deals with standards for installing an escalator, including the requirement that a guard be placed on the side of the stairs, so as not to create a gap between the steps and the rail.
The lawyer for the New Jersey family stated that “the gap between the steps were twice as wide as they should have been. … Poorly maintained, [the escalator] had a cracked support member, it was a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Premises accident lawyer Landau notes that escalators can cause serious danger, especially when they are not properly installed, inspected, and maintained. And because children are more vulnerable to unsafe conditions, Landau recommends that parents always hold the hands of their children when riding on an escalator. And equally as important, always report unsafe conditions such as a large gap between the stairs and the rail, or a broken step.
Abrams Landau, Ltd. has helped innocent victims who have been injured after being thrown from an escalator after a sudden stop, or have had their clothing, footwear or feet caught in an unsafe gap. If you or someone you know has been injured while using an escalator and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).