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NY App. Div. Rules Stopped Escalator Not Unsafe

March 26, 2010

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In Adamo v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., plaintiff tripped and fell as she was walking up the stairs of a stopped escalator at Penn Station. She alleged that the uneven spacing of the escalator steps caused her fall.
Defendants were granted summary judgment on the basis that the testimony of plaintiff and defendants’ witnesses indicated that the only problem with the escalator was a defective handrail. A new part had been ordered and it was not the protocol of the defendants to barricade the escalator unless it was actually being repaired. Defendants argued that it was then the plaintiff’s decision to use the escalator and since she testified to having used the escalator in the past, she was aware of the step differentials.
Plaintiff disagreed and provided expert testimony that defendants’ failure to barricade the escalator violated industry safety standards. The appellate court found that the expert did not provide any evidence that a stopped escalator was unsafe or that the uneven steps created a dangerous condition.
Thanks to Katusia Lundi for her contribution to this post.
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