Appellate Court Gives Green Light to Lawsuit over Giants Stadium Escalator Mishap

A State Appeals Court last week overturned a ruling by a lower court judge and gave the okay for a lawsuit to proceed against the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). The lawsuit involves a 2006 escalator accident at the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. (1)

The suit was filed by Thomas DiBartolomeo, one of several people injured when leaving the stadium following an October 1, 2006 Jets game. The lawsuit was originally filed against the NJSEA, operator of the stadium, and the Schindler Elevator Company, the company that maintained the escalator. According to the suit the escalator malfunctioned causing fans to fall on top of each other. DiBartolomeo required hip surgery and also developed a hernia following the accident. The suit alleged that a mechanic employed by Schindler had alerted the NJSEA to the potential dangers of overloading the escalator. (2)

The original lawsuit was dismissed by the trial judge. While the appellate court agreed that the Schindler Elevator Company was not responsible for the accident, it did rule in favor of letting the suit against the NJSEA proceed. In its decision, the court noted that DiBartolomeo established that the escalator, when used in a “normal and foreseeable” manner, posed a danger to the public and that the NJSEA had been made aware of this potential danger. (1)

A second escalator mishap at the stadium in December 2007 caused five people to be sent to the hospital for medical attention. (3)



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