California Family Sues Crocs(tm) Footwear for Escalator Accident
An eight-year-old California girl sustained crush injuries to her foot when her Crocs™ footwear became caught in a Boston subway escalator on July 22, 2010. The girl’s mother tried to wrestle the girl free as the escalator dragged her down the incline. Meanwhile, her father tried in vain to activate the escalator’s emergency stop button, which was broken. The girl was finally freed when she reached the bottom of the escalator.
The father, who is a doctor, reported that bone could be seen protruding from his daughter's injured foot. He also stated that she sustained lacerated blood vessels and nerves.
There have been continuing reports of foot injuries to persons wearing Crocs™ footwear. A recent study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics revealed that 76 percent of escalator accidents over the past two years involved people wearing Croc-type footwear. The injuries included amputation, crush injuries, fractures, and skin being torn from the big toe, as well as lacerations and nerve damage. The problems appear to stem from the soft plastic material used to make these shoes, which can become stuck in the edges of escalator treads. The material also provides little protection from injury. The broad toe-box design of rubber clog-type footwear may give a false perception of the distance between the toe and the side of the escalator, while the softness of the rubber or plastic material makes the shoes susceptible to being crushed by the moving escalator steps. The nonskid properties of the shoes also make freeing them from machinery more difficult. The resulting injuries can be serious and permanent. The study concluded that the potential dangers of rubber clogs and escalators should not be underestimated.
Crocs™ do include a warning, advising parents to practice escalator safety and to hold their child’s hand to avoid injury. The safest practice is to have children stand in the center of the escalator, away from the sides, where the footwear can become trapped between the moving stair treads and the stationary sides of escalators.
If you or a family member is injured on an escalator or other similar equipment while wearing Crocs™, be sure to contact a competent personal injury attorney in your area who can properly advise you on your legal rights.