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Family sues Smiths after young girl gets fingers cut off by escalator in Salt Lake City

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 17:10:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A family is suing after a young girl lost two fingers at a Smith’s Marketplace in Salt Lake City in Sept. of 2017.

The complainants, the parents and guardians of the child that was injured, filed a lawsuit in Salt Lake County’s Third Judicial District Court Tuesday against Schindler Elevator, a Deleware corporation, Smith Food and Drug Center inc., a Utah corporation, and The Kroger Company, an Ohio-based company as well as companies labeled “John Doe Companies 1 through 10.”

The complaint stated that on Sept. 20, 2017, at the Smith’s Marketplace located at 455 S. 500 E. in Salt Lake City, the young girl and her mother were shopping. After completing the shopping, the mother and the child approached the self-checkout on the top floor of the store.

While the mother was purchasing her goods, the complaint stated that the child circled around the register.

Prior to completing her purchases, the complaint stated that the mother heard a scream, and ran around the register toward the sound. The mother then saw the child at the bottom of the escalator, covered in blood.

“(The mother) quickly descended the escalator and saw, to her horror, that (the girl) was missing the middle and ring fingers of her left hand, just below the middle knuckles,” the complaint stated.

The child’s mother said she saw a large amount of blood near the combed fingers of the escalator. The child’s fingers were later found and removed from the comb plate and placed into a plastic bag, the complaint stated.

“The escalator comb plate was missing one or more combs at the location where this incident occurred,” the complaint stated.

According to the complaint, the Division of Boiler and Elevator Safety requested on Sept. 9, 2015, that the Smith’s Marketplace replace all broken comb teeth on the entrance and the exit of the escalator/moving walk.

Surgeons were unable to re-attach the child’s fingers.

“(The child) has described that ‘Smith’s took my fingers’ and that ‘I chopped them off at the alligator (escalator),’ the complaint stated.

The complainants seek in the lawsuit for damages to be paid from the companies listed above.

Smith’s responded to Fox 13’s request for comment, saying it was, “unable to comment on active litigation.”