Macy’s Faces Lawsuit after Girl is Injured by Escalator
The family of Juliana Valdez filed suit against Macy’s, claiming the department store was negligent in maintaining an escalator that injured the child’s right foot. The family is seeking $10 million in damages for the injury, which required the amputation of two toes and 15 additional surgeries to repair the damage. The girl’s father, Juan Valdez, says that his daughter must learn how to walk again and is still recovering from the injuries. Escalator Accident Juliana was shopping for back-to-school supplies with her mother and brother in August at the Garden State Plaza Shopping Center in New Jersey. The 10-year-old’s right sneaker was sucked into the escalator, and her foot was trapped in the mechanisms beneath the landing at the top of the escalator, as the family rode from the basement to the ground level. A bystander pressed the emergency stop button, but it required police, rescue workers, and several other bystanders to dismantle the landing area to release Juliana’s leg. Oldest in the State Court documents say that the gap between the steps on the escalator was twice as wide as required, and that the mechanism had a cracked support member. The plaintiff’s attorneys further claim that the escalator was poorly maintained, and since this was one of the oldest escalators in the area—dating back to 1958—the lack of maintenance constitutes negligence on the part of Macy’s. Attorneys say that the machinery was a “death trap” and a “tragedy waiting to happen.” Macy’s Response The escalator was eventually blocked off and placed out of service as investigators reviewed the machinery. Macy’s immediately released a statement offering sympathy for the girl and her family, and stated that they were “currently conducting a full investigation” into the incident. Macy’s did not comment on the lawsuit after it was filed. When negligence is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a personal injury claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by the negligence of others.