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Escalators Present Dangers to Unaware Shoppers

Mall ShoppersHeading to the mall is usually an uneventful experience—other than the impact on your wallet. While it may appear to be a safe environment designed to meet the needs of shoppers, the mall is replete with potential dangers. Among the most frightening are the escalators found in many mall concourses and large department stores. Of course, escalators are also commonly used in other settings such as airports and subway stations, but regardless of where they are located, these moving staircases can cause serious injury or even death.

Mall Access

Emergency rooms around the United States treat about 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year. Some such incidents are headline-grabbing as the injury was the result of some kind of entrapment—meaning that a body part got caught in the escalator’s machinery. Falls either on or over an escalator, however, account for a much larger portion of all related accidents.

As urban sprawl leads to more shopping areas and existing malls upgraded to accommodate an increasing number of shoppers, escalators and moving walks have become more prevalent. They are designed to transport more people to greater heights than in the past, which may lead to dangerous layouts with empty space through which a rider could potentially fall. Additionally, some reports note that escalators and moving walkways are part of the primary escape route which means that in the event of a fire or other emergency, the escalators may become overloaded with panicked shoppers all attempting to leave at the same time.


California law requires escalators to be maintained and kept up to code at all times but negligence on the part of the installer, inspector, mall owner, or even the manufacturer can lead to the following hazardous conditions:

  • Improper and unsafe installation;
  • Missing or malfunctioning parts;
  • A lack of regular maintenance and repairs;
  • Jerking starts and stops; and
  • “End plate” entrapments.

Any combination of these factors can result in a serious injury to you or your child. Trapped feet or body parts could mean permanent damage and amputations. Falling on or over an escalator could cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and death.

Dedicated Legal Representation

Escalators are a familiar sight in Bay Area malls, commercial buildings, and corporate offices, but familiarity does not necessarily equal safety. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident related to escalators, contact an experienced San Jose personal injury attorney for assistance. At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P, we are committed to helping you collect full compensation for your injuries. Call (408) 289-1417 for a free consultation with a member of our team today.

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