Moving Sidewalks Malfunction Causing Injuries
One of the nation’s largest home improvement supply stores is suing the company that installed its moving walkways. The lawsuit was filed against ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. The reason? Customers were injured when they fell when a moving sidewalk at a store malfunctioned.
In an article discussing the suit’s details, the company that made and installed the walkway is accused of not living up to its warranty, breach of contract, and breaking product warranty laws.
We used to get calls involving falls on escalators. But, as malls and two-story department stores close, escalator falls are happening less frequently.
However, we find that home improvement chain stores have been installing moving walkways. These walkways permit customers and their shopping carts to move between the first and second floors. These walkways are a bit like escalators but are more like moving ramps instead of moving stairways.
The appeal of moving walkways is that customers can take their carts with them while moving between floors. Shopping carts are equipped with unique wheels to lock to the walkway and then release at the top. It very well may be that shopping carts are getting caught in the moving walkways and knockdown customers.
Like escalators, moving walkways require frequent inspection and maintenance. But, because they involve carts that are supposed to lock to the walkway and then release at the end of the trip, carts can malfunction, or the walkway can malfunction. Or, both can malfunction.
It is the property owner’s legal responsibility to provide safe premises for the customer. Liability claims will center on establishing fault on the part of the property owner, the maintenance and repair company, and the maker of the walkway and the carts.