Family Sues Macy’s, Escalator Company After Daughter’s Foot Mangled

You know how some people have what seems to be an irrational fear of escalators? Well, here’s another reason why that aversion might not be so strange after all: A New Jersey family recently filed a lawsuit against Macy’s and the company responsible for maintaining the escalator in which their daughter’s leg became trapped during a 2013 shopping trip.

According to a report by HLN, the lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages, alleges that Macy’s and escalator company ThyssenKrupp Elevator America Inc. were negligent in the August 2013 incident that occurred at the Garden State Plaza Mall in New Jersey.

The girl, who was 10 at the time of the incident, was riding the escalator during a shopping trip when her right foot became trapped.

According to the complaint, she was wearing a pair of Converse high-top sneakers that were laced and tied.

By the time a passerby was able to stop the escalator with the emergency stop switch, the girl’s leg was trapped about halfway between her right ankle and knee.

According to the lawsuit, “copious amounts of [the victim’s] blood and tissue were distributed over at least 11 steps as the escalator continued grinding up against [the victim’s] trapped foot and leg.”

Doctors were unable to save the girl’s pinky and second toes. Additionally, the girl has undergone a series of 13 surgeries in an effort to save her foot and leg.

A lawyer for the family tells HLN in a statement that Macy’s operated one of the oldest escalators in the country and that it posed a hazard to anyone who rode it.

“It is shameful that it took a horrific injury that nearly tore off a little girl’s foot to get Macy’s to fix it,” the lawyer stated. “The defendants should be punished for interfering with the Inspectors who were sent by Paramus to assess it. They placed their customers’ life and limbs at risk to save the expense of proper maintenance.”

HLN reports that the escalators inside the Macy’s store were installed around 1958, but had been repaired shortly before the incident.

While Macy’s owns the escalator, ThyssenKrupp is responsible for the inspection, maintenance and repair of the escalators at the Garden State Plaza Mall store.

Officials with Macy’s deny in a complaint response that the retailer is guilty of any negligence related to the injury. The retailer claims that any injuries or damages sustained by the victim were caused by the sole negligence of ThyssenKrupp.

A spokesperson for ThyssenKrupp denied allegations of negligence and told HLN that the company worked closely with Macy’s and the authorities to investigate the accident.

Girl’s foot torn apart by Macy’s escalator [HLN]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.