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Woman's face sucked into escalator mechanism in mishap at Burlington Macy's, suit alleges

An elderly couple from Burlington is suing both Macy's and its escalator maintenance company for the serious injuries they say they suffered when the railing they were holding onto an up escalator suddenly jerked forward on Oct. 12, 2016 at the Burlington Mall Macy's.

In the negligence lawsuit, originally filed in Middlesex Superior Court, Ruth Irving, 89 at the time of the incident, says she was near the top of the escalator from the first to second floor and holding onto the railing when it jerked forward, throwing her down and causing her face to be dragged into the escalator mechanism, the couple's complaint charges:

As a result, Mrs. Irving was caused to suffer severe lacerations to her left eyelid, forehead, cheek and neck.

Originally taken to Winchester Hospital, she had to be taken to the Lahey Clinic for trauma care and developed atrial fibrillation and needed a pacemaker installed, the suit, which Macy's had transferred to federal court in Boston, alleges.

Her husband, William, 88, was closer to the bottom of the escalator and was also thrown forward, their lawsuit alleges, He tried to get up but fell backwards, hitting his head and losing consciousness and suffering head, neck, knee, hip, elbow and wrist injuries, the complaint charges.

In its response, Macy's says any injuries were due to the couple's own negligence, although it did not detail that allegation.

But in any case, in its response, Macy's filed a crosd complaint against the escalator company, Schindler Elevator Corp., saying that if there were any negligence involved beyond that of the couple, it's entirely Schindler's fault.

Macy's said its contract with Schindler required that company to take full responsibility for any escalator issues and to fully cover any liability expenses arising from them. Macy's said Schindler's broke the contract by not including Macy's in its liability insurance policy.

Schindler has yet to file its answer to either the Irvings' suit or Macy's claim.

PDF icon Irving complaint267.41 KB
PDF icon Macy's answer230.48 KB


when the railing they were holding onto an up escalator...

Rookie mistake.

Voting closed 39

Lahey is right next to the mall.

Voting closed 5

And would like to sue for damages. I may never recover from my psychological injuries.

Voting closed 7