While many products that have been in existence for over a century undergo extensive changes over time, others do not. Escalators are one such product that has not changed much since their introduction in 1892. Perhaps for this reason, they may represent dangerous property, causing numerous injuries to people in Georgia and elsewhere throughout their existence.
The potentially dangerous aspect of an escalator is that the landing platforms can make it tricky to enter and exit as the stairs disappear under passengers, and clothing and body parts can get stuck as a result. It has been suggested that the product’s design has not changed significantly because there is not an incentive for the four major manufacturers to make any changes. Additionally, international standards can make significant changes difficult to implement.
Several serious incidents involving escalators have occurred during the last several years. A child’s big toe was torn by one of these devices and a person was strangled when his shirt got caught in a gap between the landing platform and the moving stairs. One of the most terrifying escalator tragedies occurred in 1987 in London when an escalator exploded. The event resulted in the death of 31 people. The cause of the accident was that tiny pieces of paper and lint and grease had collected in the undercarriage of the escalator.
An attorney with experience in premises liability may be able to assist victims who are injured on someone else’s property receive compensation. Such an attorney may be able to conduct an investigation into the accident to determine if a property owner was aware of dangerous conditions on the property.
Source: Popsci, “FYI: Why Are Escalators So Dangerous?“, Ryan Bradley, September 17, 2013