Trial attorney Larry Bendesky, an international authority on escalator-safety failures, says yesterday’s escalator accident in a Rome subway station appears nearly identical to the 2007 Giants Stadium, New Jersey disaster in which numerous football fans were severely injured when the escalator’s brakes failed and its stairs violently accelerated before splitting apart. Experts had indicated that the catastrophe was related to both improper design and maintenance of the escalator.
A founding attorney of Philadelphia-based Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., Mr. Bendesky said, “I watched the news coverage from Rome in horror because that Metro station’s escalator unquestionably malfunctioned, causing major injuries to many of its passengers. It astonishes that, as in the Giants Stadium disaster, no one was killed given the speed of the runaway escalator and the crowded conditions. That is a tribute only to first responders, not the operator or the equipment.” Mr. Bendesky, settled the Giants Stadium case.
This latest incident in Rome should send a clear message to escalator manufacturers and operators worldwide—from athletic stadiums to transportation agencies—that failure to properly design and maintain their equipment can and will at some point result in injuries, possibly deaths.