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About 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency treatment in the United States - a large percentage of those injured are children.
TEANECK, NJ, May 21, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A 13-year-old girl and her family have agreed to a $15 million settlement of a lawsuit that was filed after the girl suffered debilitating and terrifying injuries in a 2013 escalator accident at a Macy's store in New Jersey, the law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., announced today.
The girl and her family filed the lawsuit against Macy's Inc., and Thyssen Krupp Elevator Corporation, the company responsible for the maintenance of the store's escalators.
Attorney Samuel L. Davis of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., represented the family in the lawsuit, which was filed in Bergen County Superior Court (Docket No. 13-5957).
The incident occurred on August 16, 2013, at the Macy's store located in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The girl's right foot became entrapped and swallowed by the top of the stair of the store's escalator, according to the lawsuit.
A bystander pressed the emergency stop button, while several others began removing pieces of the escalator to try and free the girl's leg. Emergency personnel arrived and transported the child to Hackensack University Medical Center, the complaint stated.
A team of specialists led by trauma surgeon Sanjeev Kaul, M.D., plastic surgeon William Boss, M.D., and pediatric orthopedist David Forsh, M.D., treated the girl during her seven-week hospitalization.
The surgical team and other specialists performed 22 procedures to save the girl's foot from amputation and to completely rebuild it. She received skin and muscle grafts from other parts of her body.
The girl, who suffered lung and kidney failure, remained hospitalized for almost three months after the accident, which was followed by years of physical therapy.
She also received treatment at Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and New York Presbyterian Medical Center under the care of pediatric orthopedist Joshua Hyman, M.D.
Now pain-free, the girl faces the prospect of more surgery that may correct her slight limp, the complaint alleged.
Macy's installed the escalator when the Garden State Plaza Mall opened in 1958. Despite a usual service life of 20-25 years, Macy's never replaced or upgraded the escalator, the lawsuit stated.
The girl and her family alleged that the escalator's obsolescence and poor maintenance caused gaps in the machinery, which entrapped the child's foot.
A number of incidents involving the escalator occurred in the two years before the girl's injury, including a similar event the day before in which a customer's shoe had been caught in the mechanism, the complaint stated.
A state-mandated inspection of the escalator originally scheduled for March 2013 had been canceled by Macy's and never rescheduled because of its interference with the store's retail operations, the lawsuit further alleged.
Macy's replaced the escalators only after the tragedy, Mr. Davis said.
"About 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency treatment in the United States - a large percentage of those injured are children," Mr. Davis said. "Escalators are inherently dangerous, especially for kids."
Mr. Davis emphasized the importance of escalator maintenance as a matter of public safety. When a problem emerges, it should be addressed immediately, no matter the circumstances, the attorney said.
"Poorly maintained relics, like the one that almost claimed this young girl's life, should never be allowed to stay in operation after the store becomes aware they are damaged," Mr. Davis said. "Macy's chose profit over safety and instead of disrupting the back-to-school shopping rush, Macy's put countless patrons, particularly children, at risk."
Throughout the years of treatment, the young victim has maintained a positive outlook and expressed an interest in a career in the medical field, Mr. Davis added.
"She said that she would like to study medicine and become an orthopedic surgeon when she grows up," Mr. Davis said. "She said that the experience with almost losing her foot has taught her how dedicated doctors can give someone back a life. She would like to do the same for other injured children."
For more information about the case, please contact Mr. Davis at (201) 907-5000 or e-mail [email protected]
About Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C.
The law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., provides compassionate and skilled legal help to those injured by the negligence of others. Since 1981, the firm has secured more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements for personal injury and accident clients throughout New Jersey and New York. The firm's main office is located at 375 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, New Jersey, 07666. The firm also features offices in Freehold, Jersey City, Newark, Princeton, Colonia, Iselin, East Rutherford, Bridgewater, Woodcliff Lake and New York City. You can learn more about the firm by calling (800) LAW-2000 or submitting the firm's online contact form.
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