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Escalator accident injures four shoppers in mall

Four shoppers in a mall were injured recently when an escalator in a common area within a Macy's store collapsed. The injured victims included two children from different families and two adults. When accidents like this happen in North Carolina and elsewhere, those injured can pursue premises liability lawsuits against the owners and managers of the facility, and depending upon the facts, may also have claims against companies that installed and maintained the escalator.

Throughout the next several days, holiday shoppers will be swarming through malls and department stores, looking for bargains, meeting friends, and returning merchandise such as clothing gifts that don't fit. It is up to property owners to make sure escalators and elevators are functioning properly and the premises are safe for all people, otherwise they may face legal consequences.

In this instance, the accident happened at approximately 7:21 p.m. on the upward bound escalator connecting the store's ground floor entrance to an upper floor of the store. Observers said that they saw that the escalator exhibited obvious damage at the top. The injuries ultimately proved to be minor, but all four were transported to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment.

It was not immediately clear what the reason for the escalator's failure was. A spokesman for the mall, however, acknowledged that it was 30 years old, having been constructed in 1982, and described what happened as a mechanical failure. An investigation is now planned which will include a thorough inspection of this and other escalators on the premises.

Source: Woodinville Patch, "Four Injured in Escalator Collapse at Macy's in Bellevue Square," Venice Buhain, Dec. 8, 2012

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