A visit to a nearby mall with parents is something that many children in New Jersey anticipate, be it for shopping or just for having fun. With so many people around, it is the responsibility of the shopping mall staff and managers to ensure the safety of the customers. However, at Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, the safety of the premises was called into question when a young girl was seriously injured due to an escalator accident.
According to reports, a young girl lost two toes after the accident on a Macy's escalator. The escalator had already been reported for maintenance work several months before the accident, but the property owners failed to get it repaired.
The accident happened when the 11-year-old girl was shopping with her mother in the mall. When she stepped onto the escalator, her foot got caught in the escalator and it was crushed. Fifteen surgeries have already been performed on the young girl so far. According to the girl's father, she can walk no more than ten steps at a time, even after so many surgeries.
According to records, the escalator was constructed in 1955. In March, during an inspection by the Municipal Inspection Corporation, which is a sub-contractor, the escalator was found to be running poorly. The inspection officials recommended that maintenance be performed on its roller and track surface. What was shocking was that the escalator was still being operated, even after the temporary certificate to operate it, issued by the inspection company, had expired a few months previously.
The commercial property owners failed to carry out the maintenance work to fix the violations. According to New Jersey law, escalators are supposed to be inspected twice a year. However, the escalator where the accident happened was inspected only once. The family of the young victim is suing the mall owners for premises liability.
Escalator accidents are not uncommon in New Jersey. Given the fact that the U.S. reported more than 22,000 such accidents last year alone, the owners of a property have an obligation toward the people who come to their property to keep them safe. If a person is injured due to negligence of property owners, the property owners can be held liable to compensate the injured person.
Source: NBC New York, "I-Team: Macy's Escalator Needed Maintenance When It Crushed Girl's Foot"