Crikey! is reporting on a story about Crocs, the popular, soft-soled shoes that happen to have a lot of holes in them. Something about their flexibility and grip makes the toes they enclose likely to get caught in escalators, incidents otherwise known as “shoe entrapments.” Toes have been lost, gashed, violated. Personally, I like shoes that give good coverage. The clunkier, the better. Anyway, the mom tells the whole tortious story:

At first, Rory’s mother had no idea what caused the boy’s foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory’s shoes, that she began to suspect the Crocs and did an Internet search.

“I came home and typed in ’Croc’ and ’escalator,’ and all these stories came up,” said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Va. “If I had known, those would never have been worn.”

Ahhh…if she had been properly warned of the shoe entrapment risks, her sons’ toes would never have been wrongfully and painfully entrapped in the biting teeth of the escalator. What element of negligence does the “failure to warn” satisfy?

Afterthought: Which should have warned the mother of the danger? The Croc company or the makers of escalators?


Posted by C. Bekhor


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lcantrell2 on October 1, 2007 at 11:56 am

    As a mother, this sort of thing has crossed my mind. There are warnings on escalators, particularly the handrails, as hands can get caught under the edges, I don’t know if warnings exist for the steps themselves.

    Children will always find the one thing they shouldn’t touch, and usually don’t think of consequences. My son always liked touching the grocery store checkout belt. I always told him not to, but sometimes he would put his hand on it anyway. I know what you’re thinking, but, no, his hand did not get stuck. I did notice that there was just enough room between the belt and the metal strip that covers the end of the belt, about the size of small fingers. When my son was about 5 he was running his hand along the belt, I again said no, and the cashier said she had actually seen a child get their hand stuck and then have to be taken to the hospital. Fortunately this greatly impacted my son and he stopped touching the belt from then on. I figured that if grocery store belts can do this, then it stands to reason that escalators can do the same thing. I always make sure that my sons only touch the top of the moving rail, and they keep their feet away from the edge of the steps, and step off before they think they have to.

    If I were the sandal manufacturer, then I would be aware of the problems people have faced with these shoes. In an effort to not loose sales, I would probably redesign the sandals to better protect the feet. However, knowing how long of a process that is, a warning would be a preventative measure, but might also deter people from buying the shoes. Warnings about being a very flexible sandal that could result in getting stuck might be an appropriate warning.


  2. Thanks for commenting, Laura. Interesting that you provide (without knowing it, perhaps?) yet another consideration: personal judgment. Without being warned, you have the sense to avoid “dangerous” moving contraptions. Maybe the risks on an elevator are obvious and neither the sandal company or the elevator manufacturers have to provide a warning.


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