Family Sues After Girl Loses Two Fingers in Grocery Store Escalator
Jul 31, 2018, 8:59 PM | Updated: 9:13 pm
“My number one thing is just to get them fixed,” Ramon Moreno said about the escalator. “To have all that stuff changed so that way it doesn’t happen to somebody else—to somebody else’s kids.”
Moreno’s daughter, Adalene, was 3-years-old when she and her mother visited the Smith’s Marketplace in downtown Salt Lake City, located at 455 South and 500 East, on Sept. 20, 2017. While using the self-checkout, the mother heard Adalene scream.
“She then saw Adalene at the bottom of the escalator,” the lawsuit states, “with blood on her clothing and surrounded by a pool of blood.”
The lawsuit goes on to describe that Adalene’s middle and ring fingers on her left hand were severed just below the middle knuckles. Doctors were unable to attach the fingers.
Moreno said Adalene has remained strong through the ordeal but still struggles at times.
“She has her moments where it affects her or it makes her feel sad or ugly, she sometimes says, but we just ensure her that she’s beautiful no matter what and she’s going to be okay,” he said.
The lawsuit claims that the escalator’s operating permit from the Division of Boiler and Elevator Safety expired 17 days before the girl was injured. In addition, the family’s attorneys write that in 2015, the grocery store’s parent company was told in a letter from that same division that the escalator was not in compliance with Utah law.
“The escalator comb plate was missing one or more combs at the location where this incident occurred,” the lawsuit claims, adding that escalator safety switch did not engage during or after the girl’s fingers were amputated.
The lawsuit also names Delaware-based Schindler Elevator Corporation as the company that services the escalator.
“Schindler regrets whenever anyone is injured in connection with equipment it maintains,” Schindler Elevator Corporation said in a statement to KSL. “We deny there were any missing parts involving Schindler’s maintenance of the unit or that the unit malfunctioned.”
Because of the active litigation, the company said it would be premature to provide any additional comments.
Requests for comment from Smith’s Food and Drug and its parent company, Kroger, were not returned Tuesday.