The Hazards Posed by Escalators and Elevators in Atlanta


June 11, 2013

Many of us engage in a practice on a regular or even daily basis that causes injuries to dozens of people across the U.S. every day.  The activity is such second nature that few even recognize the risk.  However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that approximately 17,000 people per year are injured while using an escalator or elevator.  Whether you are using an escalator in a parking structure, at the mall, or an elevator in your office building, these devices can cause serious injuries including loss of digits, amputation of extremities and broken bones or head injuries in incidents involving entrapment or falls.

There are a variety of steps that property owners, maintenance companies and the manufacturers of escalators and elevators can take to prevent the public from injury.  There are national industry standards for providing safe warning on these mechanical devices including painting bright colored borders and footprints, but many elevators and escalators do not comply with the long-established industry practices for providing warnings to the public.

Even when these types of warnings are present, they generally are insufficient to communicate the severity of the risk posed by a potential escalator entrapment accident.  Many warnings on escalators do not clearly communicate the risk of entrapment between steps of the escalator or the potential seriousness of such entrapment.  The public also is rarely advised of the potential severity of this type of entrapment injury.  Experts at the CPSC have advised that the entrapment warnings provided on escalators be changed from “caution” to “warning.”  Agency experts have conducted research that caution signs are only associated by consumers with minor injuries while warning signs are associated with serious injury and death.

Federal standards also require that escalator steps must be “in mesh,” but many escalators do not conform to these standards.  When gaps are present between the steps they increase the number of points where clothing or digits can become entrapped between the steps.  The gaps on the sides of the steps also must be extremely small but often are too wide allowing for an increased risk of entrapment.  While these oversized gaps can be corrected with proper maintenance or retrofitting, many property owners do not take these remedial measures.

When escalators or elevators fall into disrepair or regular maintenance is not performed, the result can be serious injuries and even fatalities.  Our Atlanta escalator accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates can provide aggressive representation to those injured when property owners fail to maintain their property in safe conditions.  Depending on the facts, we also will pursue  product liability claims against elevator manufacturers and negligent maintenance claims against those who service elevators and escalators.

Why Montlick & Associates?

The experienced Georgia premises liability law firm of Montlick and Associates, aggresively represent personal injury victims and their families from all communities throughout the state of Georgia and all over the Southeast. For over 30 years, the attorneys at Montlick & Associates have been focusing its law practice on personal injury law, providing caring and high quality legal representation.

The firm is well recognized not only for its legal work, but also for its extensive and unprecedented public service programs that fall under two main umbrellas: their initiatives to help families prevent injuries and their extensive efforts to support our troops. The firm was recently honored by the Georgia House of Representatives for its 30 years of service with the passing of House Resolution 394 recognizing Montlick & Associates for "the outstanding accomplishments of this distinguished firm," and “for providing efficient, effective and dedicated services to the citizens of Georgia."

The firm was also named the Most Patriotic Business of 2011 by the Association of the United States Army in Atlanta for its efforts to support the troops, and its CEO David R. Montlick received a Patriotism Award in 2012 for the Southeast. To learn more about Montlick & Associates and their award-winning public service programs, please visit Montlick.com

Call 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit online at www.montlick.com and use the firm's Free 24-hour Live Online Chat or Free Case Evaluation Form.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.