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Settlement Reached in MA Child’s Escalator Death

A normal day at the Auburn Mall in March of 2011 turned into a scene that will play over and over in the minds of Mark DiBona’s parents for many years. Four-year-old Mark was riding the escalator in Sears when he slipped through a space between the railing and the escalator and fell 18 feet on to the top of a displace case on a lower floor. The young boy sustained serious head injuries and passed away the next day.

The DiBona family was devastated by the loss and filed suit against Sears, Simon Property Group Inc., Schindler Elevator Corp. and Botany Bay Construction, according to CBS Boston. According to their lawyer, the family finds all four companies were negligent and were responsible for the death and suffering of their beloved little boy. The family claimed the escalator was in “dangerous and defective” condition and was in “violation of state building codes, escalator safety standards and the industry standards established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (CBS Boston).”

Tom Smith, a lawyer for Eric and Laura DiBona, stated that the gap between the escalator and the railing was dangerously large, and that it should have been corrected. “The gap was 6 inches wide while state building code says the gap should be no more than 4 inches wide,” he explained. It was reported that there were plans filed with the town upon installation of the escalator to include a barrier to fix the clearly unsafe gap, but Smith argues, “those plans were either not followed or were not required by Sears or Simon.” The suit went on to say that the plans were proof that all parties knew that the gap was a safety issue that needed to be solved, but did nothing to fix the problem until it was much too late.

The suit against Sears, Simon Property Group Inc., Schindler Elevator Corp. and Botany Bay Construction successfully argued that a vibrant, cheerful young boy lost his life due to gross negligence. The family attorney informed that a confidential settlement had recently been reached via WCVB. According to CBS Boston, Mark DiBona’s uncle, Douglas read a statement on behalf of the family right after the incident, stating, “What happened to Mark on that awful day should never have happened. Although we can never get Mark back, we can try to make sure that no other family has to endure this kind of pain and loss.”

Recent campaigns and legislation has worked to follow Douglas and the DiBona family’s wish. In fact, Mark’s tragic death has spurred significant change in elevator safety. CBS Boston Reports that, “The Department of Public Safety fired two inspectors, suspended six and reprimanded 26 others after a sweep of all escalators in Massachusetts found 7.5 percent lacked barricades required to cover the gap between the moving staircases and walls or rails.” In addition, numerous legislators are pushing for tougher inspection standards for escalator safety.

Millions of people ride escalators and other equipment every day that we trust is safe. The heartbreaking loss of a young child in an accident that could have been so easily prevented will continue to cause the family pain. Families of victims of wrongful death and personal injuries often feel helpless, but we can help. At the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our dedicated team of Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorneys our experienced team of senior attorneys has successfully tackled thousands wrongful death and personal injuries cases, and understands the uncertainty faced by those affected. We will go through every legal option and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – including nights and weekends to answer any questions regarding your case. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Read the full article from WCVB

And the original story from: CBS Boston