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Escalators and Crocs Just Don’t Mix

Since we last reported on the Crocs-related escalator injuries on December 9, 2008, Atlanta Residents Injured By Faulty Escalators more news has developed which now points the finger at Crocs, in addition to faulty escalators. For a full breakdown of this developing area see the Snope.com article Danger Afoot. While it is clear that rubber shoes and escalators do not mix, everyone should take great caution when getting onto and off of escalators. I have especially noticed and increased incident rate of accidents while pedestrians are entering and exiting the escalators at the Atlanta Airport.

Regardless of which side you come down on this debate (e.g., is it the Crocs causing the injuries or is it the escalators that are causing the injuries), the important point to take away from this is: children are suffering injuries on escalators in record numbers. Whether they are being injured at Lenox Mall, Hartsfield Airport, on Marta escalators or in any number of locations around Atlanta, they are being seriously injured. All parents must take extra caution when shopping or traveling with young children.

If you do become involved in an incident stemming from a fall or other injury on an escalator, you must do all you can to preserve your legal rights. First and foremost, seek medical assistance if you are injured. If at all possible, you should also notify police or security and make absolutely certain that a police report or incident report is filled out. In addition, be sure that you obtain the police report number or incident report number (if available) and ask for a copy of the report. This will be invaluable later when you hire a lawyer and other information is sought from the potential defendants. These reports will not only clarify the facts of the incident such as exactly where on the premises you were injured, what caused the injury, who witnessed the incident, etc. but they also put the property owner on notice of the incident. Many times, if a police or incident report is not completed, we are not able to pursue a case.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BECOME A SAFER ESCALATOR RIDER
>Be aware of where you are at all times. Anticipate stepping onto the escalator and be conscious of the fact that the escalator is moving when you step onto it.

> Don’t bring strollers, walkers or carts onto escalators. Elevators are always available for this purpose and are usually conveniently located.

> Learn the location of escalators’ emergency shut-off buttons in case you need to stop the machine in an emergency. They’re usually at each end of an escalator.

> Keep little feet away from the sides of steps where entrapment can occur.

> Make sure shoes are tied and that clothing doesn’t drag onto escalator stairs. If possible, avoid gummy shoes like Crocs that tend to stick abruptly on the pavement.

> Always hold your kids’ hands and watch them closely when they are on the escalator with you. Don’t let them play games on escalators. Save the games for when you arrive safely at your destination.

> Face forward and hold on tight to the handrail.

If your child has been seriously injured on an escalator, please contact us so that we can help you. Robert J. Fleming is an experienced Georgia injury lawyer who has successfully handled a number of escalator injury cases. We are here to help.