Why You Should Stay Focused When On That Mall Escalator

Posted on April 8, 2014 by

Earlier this year in Montreal, Canada, an escalator was the cause of a tragic high-profile death. A middle-aged woman’s scarf and hair became entangled in the escalator at a metro station, and was sadly the reason why her life came to such an untimely and unnecessary end. Fortunately most escalator incidents don’t result in such a tragic ending, but people need to be aware that use of these “moving stairways” results in a number of preventable injuries every year.

Why Escalator Accidents Occur

In the United States, there are approximately 33,000 escalators in operation. While most of the incidents that we hear about are high profile entrapment cases such as mentioned above, the majority of injuries are actually falls on, or over, escalators.

There are two distinct and different types of “falls” that one may experience on an escalator:

  • Those that occur on the escalator
  • Those that occur off of an escalator (i.e. over a handrail)

There are many reasons why either type of fall might occur, such as one coming in contact with another passenger (i.e. one passenger walking up the escalator bumps you and knocks you off balance), inappropriate footwear (i.e. high heeled shoes and platforms), and coordination issues that are beyond your control (i.e. if you are elderly or on medication).

While most falls over the handrails have been attributed to misuse of the escalator, some of these injuries have also been caused by entrapment, being thrown off balance by another individual moving past, the accidental dropping of a child because you were bumped, or a tumble on the escalator that results in the occupant falling over the edge.

Where Escalator Standards are Failing

When something becomes “the norm” in society, we assume that they’re safe for use. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to escalators. Escalators in the United States are manufactured under a series of voluntary standards that were put in place by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, but no set standards exist (despite numerous petitions to have mandatory standards in place).

This lack of accountability is unseen in other parts of the world, such as the European Union and China where escalator design and standards are in place and must be adhered to.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of an escalator-related accident, or any other type of personal injury caused by a third party, at the Los Angeles law practice of Marvin S. Lanter we welcome your call to discuss the merits of your case. Book your free consultation now, on 310-276-1142.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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