Children love those colorful rubber clogs. Living in South Florida, it’s easy to slip on and go from land to water. We seldom think of the dangers these soft, flexible footwear pose to young ones riding escalators.
In Texas, a two-year-old boy’s parents are suing Crocs and a Hawaii resort after their son was severely injured when his foot was caught in an escalator. The lawsuit said that the boy held his mother’s hand on the escalator step when suddenly his foot became trapped in the side panel. Someone nearby pushed the emergency stop button but “not until (the boy) traveled almost the entire distance between floors while his foot was painfully stuck.”
He was trapped for nearly an hour.
The family’s attorney told ABC News the boy’s foot was “completely crushed and destroyed” and he had night terrors for months. The lawsuit alleges that Crocs shoes were “negligently and improperly designed.” Lawyers also accuse the Hilton Hawaiian Village for being negligent in maintaining the escalator’s safety.
Under premise liability, property owners are required to make sure escalators and other equipment on the premises are operating correctly and safe. Hilton Hawaiian Village has not commented to news outlets.
Your Palm Beach county personal injury attorneys have seen the devastating effect traumatic injuries have on small children and their parents. It’s important to be aware of these risks in public places, even a luxury resort, where we’re supposed to feel safe.
Hong Kong mom’s photo of pink Croc after she rescued her daughter’s foot from escalator in 2015. Fortunately, the little girl wasn’t seriously injured. [Courtesy of Danielle Roman]
On escalators, teach your children to step in the middle of the escalator and not run their foot along the wall. Avoiding the side panel is crucial because that’s how many of these frightening injuries happen. Also beware when getting off the last step to ensure the “teeth” of the escalator don’t grab hold of the shoe.
Crocs declined to release a statement pending litigation. It has faced similar lawsuits involving child foot injuries on escalators in recent years. The U.S. Customer Product Safety Commission studied these escalator injuries and noted all soft-sided shoes pose a risk, not just Crocs. Watch out for any flexible and soft footwear, even flip-flops, which can be dangerous for little ones on an escalator.
Here is some important advice from the CPSC that estimates approximately 11,000 escalator-related injuries each year.
- Stand in the center of step, avoid placing feet near the side panels
- Always hold your children’s hand, do not permit them to play on steps
- Never take strollers, walkers or carts on escalators
- Make sure shoes are tied before stepping onto escalator
- Identify where the emergency shutoff button is located in case you need to stop it
[Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission]
Call your Palm Beach County personal injury attorneys right away if you or a loved one was injured by a particular error in product design, manufacturing or a defective warning. At home or while on vacation like this family, unexpected tragedies happen. Shiner Law Group has extensive experience with liability claims and will work hard to assist you in getting the help you need.