(219)736-9700 info@davidholublaw.com

“Mom and I were shopping at the mall, we took the escalator and all of a sudden it sped up, I held on but Mom fell and broke her shoulder, what are our rights?”

Hi, I’m Katelyn Holub, a personal injury attorney practicing law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a person who would like to know their legal rights following a fall on an escalator after the escalator malfunctioned and suddenly sped up.   

Escalators like stairways, ladders and elevators must be properly maintained. If an escalator suddenly accelerates while people are riding up or down on it, the unexpected motion can cause the people riding on the device to fall.

Though sometimes an escalator will malfunction even if it is properly maintained, for example if a component breaks, we have found that the majority of equipment malfunctions occur when there has been a failure to follow the standards for proper maintenance of the equipment.

Most of the time an escalator will be controlled by chains and sprockets, or a system of pulleys and belts. When parts get worn, they can fail. We, as attorneys, are quite familiar with the maintenance standards that apply to these pieces of equipment and our knowledge of that helps fuel our investigation of each escalator injury incident.  

Unfortunately, with many large retail stores experiencing financial stress, the temptation to cut corners in maintaining equipment, such as escalators or elevators, can be great.

If an escalator fails due to poor maintenance, suit against the owner of the device, and any repair contractors, is likely the best option. But if a part, such as a chain broke despite the escalator being properly checked and maintained, then the escalator manufacturer may be subject to suit.

In any event, after investigating what exactly went wrong to cause a particular escalator injury, we can begin the legal analysis regarding which entity can be held responsible for an injury —such as the owner and/or manufacturer. 

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”. Have a ______ day.