The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. This element protects injured people from landowners who do not pay attention to their property. Pleading ignorance of a dangerous condition may not help the property owner’s case if he should have known about the defect.

Imagine a property owner who tells the building manager not to tell him about any needed repairs if they will cost a lot of money. The owner’s conscious disregard for the safety of people in the building should not protect him from responsibility when visitors suffer injuries. For purposes of our example, the property owner knew about the escalator malfunction for several weeks.

The owner did not post adequate warnings or take steps to repair the dangerous condition. During the weeks that passed after the owner learned of the hazard, he could have directed the building manager to disable the escalator, posted warning signs telling people not to ride it, and cordoned off the escalator to prevent people from getting on it. Instead, the property owner did none of that.

Several weeks after the manager notified the owner about the escalator malfunction, the escalator jerked to a stop, throwing three people who were near the top of the down escalator all the way to the lower floor. They sustained severe injuries.

The property owner could be liable under the theory of premises liability in this situation because the facts of the incident satisfy all three elements. There was a dangerous condition, the owner knew about it, and he failed to take any action to repair or warn about the defect. As a result of his negligence, people got hurt.

Holding an Individual Responsible for a Negligent or Intentional Act on an Escalator

Let’s say that there was no defect with the escalator, but you sustained an injury on an escalator because of the wrongful act (whether accidental or on purpose) of another person who was on the escalator. You might be able to file a lawsuit against that person.

Intentional act. If someone intentionally shoved you while you were on an escalator, that person is liable to you in a civil action if you get hurt, and will possibly face criminal charges as well.

Negligence. Let’s say that instead of an intentional act, you suffered injuries because of someone’s careless (but not malicious) behavior. Someone riding the escalator near you was trying to take a selfie. He lost his balance and fell on you, accidentally knocking you down the escalator. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against him for your injuries that his negligence caused.

Getting Help for Your Escalator Injury Case

You do not have to worry about who to sue or which legal theory to pursue. We can take care of all those issues for you. Just call us at 404-474-0804 to set up your free consultation and start the process. There is no obligation.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.