Crocs Lawsuit Raises Concerns About Popular Shoes, EscalatorsApr 20, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Crocs shoes are raising safety worries, following an accident involving an escalator and a 4-year-old boy. According to a report on News-Press.com, the child was severely injured last month at Miami International Airport after one of his Crocs became trapped in an escalator.
The boy's family has sued Crocs Inc. because of his injuries. The Crocs lawsuit claims the company has failed to warn consumers about the dangers posed by the popular shoes.
Soft sided shoes like Crocs are more pliable and malleable than other shoes, so they're more prone to get stuck in an escalator. Last May, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an escalator safety warning after it received reports of 77 entrapment incidents since January 2006. Half involved serious injuries, and all but two of those incidents involved soft-sided shoes like Crocs, the CPSC said.
Following that warning, Crocs Inc. announced plans to launch an escalator safety awareness initiative. The campaign was to include the addition of hang tags on Crocs that provided information on escalator safety. When Crocs. Inc. announced the campaign last summer, it said the hang tags would appear on new Crocs within the "next few months". According to a report on WPTV.com, even though those tags were added to Crocs in Japan last year, they are not yet available in the United States.
According to News-Press, the 4-year-old boy injured at Miami International Airport sustained multiple fractures to his toes after one of his Crocs got sucked into the side of the escalator and became trapped. The boy had escalator grease in his foot down to the bone, the report said. The child is now in a wheelchair, and is expected to need the device for some time.
The attorney representing the child's family in their lawsuit against Crocs Inc. claims that since 2005, the company has received more than 235 reports of children getting trapped in escalators. The family's lawsuit seeks $6 million in damages.
The Miami incident was not the first involving Crocs. In fact, at least three other lawsuits are pending against Crocs Inc. According to News-Press, in April, a family sued for $7.5 million after a 6-year-old boy's big toe was injured in an escalator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Last July, a mother sued for $4 million after her 3-year-old girl daughter's foot was permanently injured in Hartsfield-Jackson International Atlanta International Airport, and last September, the parents of a 4-year-old boy sued for $2 million after his foot was crushed in an escalator at the same Atlanta airport, News-Press said.
According to WPTV.com, Crocs has settled similar claims with at least four other families.
The attorney involved in the Miami lawsuit told WPTV.com that many Crocs accidents could have been prevented had the shoes come with adequate warnings. "This is not a case of an inadequate warning, this is a case of no warning at all," the attorney said.