Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

$15,000,000 Premises Liability Settlement

On August 16, 2013, a young girl and her family were on the department store’s escalators when her right foot became entrapped and swallowed by the top of the escalator stair. After freeing her leg, emergency personnel transported the child to Hackensack University Medical Center. While there, a team of specialists treated her during her 7 week hospitalization.

The girl had a total of 22 procedures to save her foot from amputation and completely rebuild it. She received skin and muscle grafts from other parts of her body, and endured lung and kidney failure from all of the trauma. The child remained hospitalized for almost 3 months, followed by years of physical therapy.

The escalator was found to be outdated and not properly taken care of. There had been numerous incidents involving the escalator in the two years before the child’s injury, where customers’ shoes had been caught in the mechanism. A state-mandated inspection of the escalator originally scheduled in March 2013 had been canceled by the department store and never rescheduled. The suit was filed against the department store, as well as the maintenance company who oversaw the safety of the escalators. It was settled for $15,000,000 by Samuel L. Davis.