The mother of a six-year-old boy whose right big toe was mangled when his Crocs clog got caught in an escalator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore is suing Crocs Inc. for products liability. Kerry Burdick filed her federal lawsuit in court on Monday. She is seeking over $7.5 million in damages.
The accident occurred last April. Burdick’s lawsuit alleges that Crocs was aware that the popular clogs posed a hazard on escalators yet failed to warn consumers.
This is not the first incident where a person got hurt while using Crocs shoes. Over 200 people around the world have been involved in similar escalator entrapment accidents while using the popular clogs. Children especially appear more prone to injuries while wearing Crocs.
In 2007, a 10-year-old girl hurt her toe after her Crocs clog got stuck on an escalator at the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. This year, a 3-year-old Croc wearer had two of her toes partially amputated because of injuries she sustained while also riding an escalator at the Atlanta airport. The parents of another 3-year-old sued Crocs for $7 million after her toe was mangled in an accident at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
In April, Japan’s Trade Ministry asked Crocs Inc. to redesign its popular clogs. The ministry said that over a six-month period last year, it had received 65 complaints of escalator injuries involving Crocs clogs. In May, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission warned that it had received 75 injury reports between January 2006 and May 2007 about people who got hurt in escalator accidents while using Crocs.
Last July, Crocs Inc. said it would add warning tags about possible escalator entrapment-related injuries to its shoes. While the shoes that come with these warnings will become available in 2009, there are still millions of Crocs clogs out in the marketplace for sale or that have already been purchased that lack the entrapment warning.
Crocs and similar soft shoes linked to escalator entrapments, Consumer Reports, May 20, 2008
Product manufacturers can be held liable for products liability or wrongful death if a defective or dangerous product is responsible is the cause of injuries or death.