Multi-story stores and malls often have escalators to transport people up and down floors. Many people ride escalators without incident. This is not always the case, unfortunately. Some escalators have defects that, if not corrected by store management, have the potential to seriously injure one or more people.
In the event you suffer an injury from riding on an escalator, the owner of the property may bear responsibility. There are a number of ways an escalator may become dangerous.
A case of a reversing escalator
Passengers depend on escalators to take a steady up or down course. An escalator that changes course unexpectedly may pose a serious threat to the safety of its passengers. People Magazine recently posted an article describing an escalator malfunction at a Boston train station.
According to the article, an upwards escalator malfunctioned and reversed itself. The sudden change in course threw escalator passengers off their feet. Witnesses recounted four people lying at the end of the escalator. While a passenger managed to hit the emergency stop button, a number of people still experienced injuries. Boston paramedics took nine people to the hospital.
Other escalator malfunctions
A sudden reversal of an escalator is just one example of a dangerous malfunction. An escalator may exhibit quick jerking motions that throw passengers off balance. An escalator track might have missing teeth or broken steps which could result in falls. In some cases an escalator has too much space between the steps and the sides of the escalator, which can make it hard to keep steady during a ride.
Gaps in the escalator can also present dangers. An exposed piece of escalator machinery can suck in a piece of clothing, footwear, or a part of the human body like a finger or a hand. This can severely injure a passenger and result in mutilation and disfigurement.
Take necessary precautions
You might avoid a possible escalator accident by keeping loose clothing away from the escalator and holding on to the hand railing as you ride. Still, a sudden malfunction may occur and you might not avoid an injury. In the event a painful incident occurs, you may have options to pursue damages.