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Escalator Accident in Universal Studios Injures Eight

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Eight people were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries after they were injured in an amusement park escalator accident at Universal Studios on November 17, 2008, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The accident occurred at the theme park at 3900 Lankershim Boulevard after the escalator started to suddenly malfunction. Park officials said the escalator, which connects two levels of the park, came to sudden stop and for unknown reasons went into reverse, throwing visitors off their feet and down the stairwell. The malfunctioning escalator was also situated on a hillside.

It is fortunate that there were no serious injuries as a result of this escalator malfunction. I hope the injuries described in this newspaper article as “minor” were in fact minor and wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy recovery.

Escalator accidents happen rarely, but when they do happen, it could result in serious injuries such as loss of limbs or fingers. More serious injuries such as head or spinal injuries could result where victims suffer a fall. In some cases, escalator accidents have resulted in deaths.

In this case, there is no question that Universal Studios will be held liable for injuries caused to the visitors who were using that escalator. It seems to me that this amusement park’s workers may have dropped the ball on maintaining that hillside escalator. Escalators are supposed to be maintained periodically and that is especially true in the case of an amusement park where the escalators are constantly used day and night by tens of thousands of people.

The same applies to escalators and elevators that are operated in other public places such as hotels, malls, shopping centers and airports. If an injured victim can prove that the injuries happened because of the property owner’s negligence than he or she is entitled to compensation. An experienced premises liability attorney may be able to help victims who have suffered such injuries. Those who have been injured in this 11/17/08 amusement park escalator accident will be entitled to compensation for any medical expenses and incidental expenses they have incurred as a result of their injuries.

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  • april

    I was on that escalator and there were more serious injuries than being reported. My husband only hit his head and he and his brother went to help the injured. Universal studios is minimizing this. I wish I had recorded it so people could see what really happened. We watched people above us falling on the people below. I would say stitches and staples were how these injuries were repaired. I saw them with my own eyes. It took the staff 20 minutes to respond that is why myself and several others called 911. I also contacted ABC news after going to the guest relations to ask for our money back as we had just purchased passes 2 hours earlier. Joseph, Cindy and Stephanie were awful. They refused to refund us our money and were rude and unconcerned for my husband who hit is head. We did not want to sue. We felt that we had the right to ask for our money back as we never plan to go again. They are still refusing. No lie, being a counselor I know this was traumatic for all involved and even those who witnessed. Universal should apologize for this incident and their rude staff.

  • Roderick

    I too was on the recent unexpected ‘thrill ride’, and have a bit of a different perspective. There are some points on which I disagree with the previous anonymous poster. #1 – I too, saw all of the injuries and while there were definitely some painful scrapes and scratches, I did not see anything major, on the surface. Concussions and soft tissue strain can of course be sneaky injuries (I might even be dealing with a little bit of that myself), but I would not be surprised if there were no staples or stitches needed for anyone. Also, I watched the time very closely, because my son and I were actually rather in a hurry to leave the park, as I had to be in Big Bear by 6:30, but I didn’t want to leave the scene until I knew that park employees were aware of the problem. From the time my son and I finished helping people off of the dog-pile at the bottom of the escalator, until the time a Universal Studios employee arrived and asked the injured people to gather together in one spot was between 6 and 7 minutes (cell phone clock – no seconds), not 20. She stated that a nurse was on the way, but from that point on I do not know how much longer it took.

  • Anonymous

    I know that Universal has otis workers constantly working on maintaining the escalators where the accident happened and it was just a freak accident. Anyone that has gone up or down that hill will see 3 sets of escalators for each level and one of the sets each day is almost always shut down and being worked on for maintaining the working conditions of the escalators. The Otis workers also maintain the elevators in the park since the elevators and escalators are being used every day the park is open which is now all year long.

  • Don

    My daughter and I were on the escalator when it broke. There was 20 – 25 people on it and when it snapped it came in reverse free fall due to all the weight on it. I’m surprised that there isn’t a brake to stop that from happening as in elevators and I was shocked to find that none of 7+ universal staff that responded offered any assistance to the injured except to stand around talking in their radios and to block off the escalator. Joseph Pardieu manager of guest relations side that their staff is not trained in first aid or have first aid kits available. They leave all that to emergency services.

  • Blair williams

    I was on the esculator as well it was my first holiday in america I was on my way to the water world show at 4.30 it happened at 4-4.20 pm My aunty and nana and I were taken to hospital with a broken leg and arm and stiches my nana hit her head and got a hematoma and I got taken to hospital with a broken leg brused back It took aboput 20 minutes for someone to come And Ii’m never going back to universal studios again I remember people pilling on top of each over at the bottom It was horrible

  • joey saenz

    I was on that escalator. To this day I’m terrified of heights and escalators. My forearm hurts and my ankle hasn’t been the same. Its going on 2 years.

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