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Department Store Escalator Injury Lawsuit Settles for $15 Million (NJ)

May 27, 2016

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Countless customers ride escalators in malls and retail stores every day without incident. Unfortunately, that was not the case for ten year old Juliana Valdez. As she was riding the escalator in a New Jersey Macy’s store with her family, her leg became trapped and could not be dislodged until a bystander pressed the emergency stop button and portions of the escalator were removed.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Valdez and her family <a href="">sued Macy’s and the escalator maintenance company</a>, ThyssenKrupp alleging negligence and breach of contract; her parents asserted a claim for loss of consortium. Although the District Court determined that Valdez’s parents were not entitled to damages for loss of their child’s consortium (comfort and company), the court allowed the parents to argue loss of Juliana’s services (contribution to household duties).</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Evidence revealed during litigation indicated that the escalator had been installed approximately 55 years prior to the accident, and was one of the oldest operating escalators in New Jersey. The Valdez family also discovered evidence that the aged escalator had not been properly maintained due to the disruption maintenance caused to Macy’s retail business operations.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">After 3 years of litigation for the parties, and 22 surgeries for Juliana, the Valdez family recently settled their case for $15 million dollars. Although the specific terms of the settlement have not been revealed, and neither defendant has conceded liability, the 8-figure payout speaks for itself.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Emily Kidder for her contribution to this post and please write to <a href="mailto:">Mike Bono</a> for more information.</p>


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