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Will Crocs Be Banned?

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A mom says she's suing Crocs to keep kids safe.

When 3-year-old Lexi's foot was severely injured on an escalator, mom Alison Pregliasco blamed the Crocs she was wearing. According to Pregliasco, her daughter had three broken toes, including one that was severed to the bone and was contaminated with escalator grease. Unfortunately, Lexi's injury is not rare; according to pediatrician Dr. Gwenn, stories of children's Croc-soled feet literally being sucked into escalators have been reported as early as 2006. Now in a lawsuit with the famed shoe company, Alison is determined to stop this tragic trend. Momlogic got an exclusive statement from Alison and her attorney:

"From the moment my twins were born, I have read the warnings which accompanied the toys my children play with, the cribs they sleep in, the child car seats they ride in. I bought my daughter her Crocs and let my daughter wear them because she loved them and because she never wanted to take them off. I did not know, before she was injured, that this had happened to so many other moms and their children. Had I known--had Crocs put a simple warning tag on their shoes--my daughter would have worn them by the pool or on the beach, but not as an everyday shoe, and certainly not on an escalator.

There is no sound more awful than the painful scream of one's child. When I learned just how many moms had heard that same type of scream from their child, when I saw how many times this had happened before and how many times Crocs has refused to accept responsibility, I knew something had to be done.

What should have been that perfect trip to Disneyworld turned into an absolute nightmare of ambulances, hospitals, surgery and my daughter confined to a wheelchair. There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of children out there who still wear their Crocs day and night unaware of what we now know.

I just hope the warning gets out there to the parents of those children before another child screams and before another case makes the headlines."

Said Attorney Andrew M. Laskin:

"Over the past several months, I have heard the same horrifying tale again and again. Intelligent and responsible moms, all of whom bought Crocs for their kids mistakenly believing, as Crocs contends, they were ideal shoes for everyday use. Tragically, when they heard their child scream, all of these parents learned the hard way, the painful way, that Crocs are inherently dangerous on escalators.

In every case, the mom or dad was watching the child and the child was holding on to handrail of the escalator. The kids were not playing around; they were just moving from one floor to another when their Croc made contact with the side of the escalator. Crocs are not flip-flops--they are shoes which are strapped onto the child's foot. They are designed and marketed as having great traction yet they are soft enough to crush in your hand. That combination of characteristics makes Crocs very dangerous when they make contact with the side of a moving escalator. The shoe sticks and the sheer force of the escalator and the friction of the caught Croc sucks the child's strapped and trapped foot down into the mechanism of the escalator.

That is why we see, time and time again, many children (in the US, Canada, worldwide) suffering the same type of injury and the same ripping of their Crocs. For those who believe these incidents are comparable to loose shoelace injuries, nothing could be further from the truth.

Crocs has, for years, sought to deflect blame by stating these incidents were the fault of the mothers and fathers, escalator companies, airports and others, none of whom are to blame. It is yet another classic case of a corporation putting profits over people, and those people are young children.

The Trade Ministry of Japan, one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth, has specifically ordered Crocs to do something about their shoes because of children being injured on escalators. Our lawsuit will expose what Crocs has known yet long sought to conceal--that its shoes are dangerous on escalators, that these injuries to children could and should have been prevented by a simple warning tag, and that Crocs' blame-game "defense" is an offense to responsible parents everywhere."

Crocs spokesperson Tia Mattson had this to say, "Consumer satisfaction, including consumer safety, is a top priority for us at Crocs. Escalator safety is an issue we take very seriously. Safety experts say several factors can contribute to accidents, including escalator design and maintenance, loose clothing or untied shoelaces, footwear and improper use. The most important safety factor is safe riding behavior. Parents should supervise and assist children. Riders of all ages should step on and off escalators and moving walkways with caution, stand only in the middle of the steps, hold on to the handrail, and ensure shoelaces are tied and loose clothing is clear of steps and sides.More information on escalator safety is available from the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation."

Will this lawsuit stop you from buying Crocs for your kids?


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39 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 12, 2008, 7:18 PM

Really? The parent should have ‘researched’ what could have happened with every shoe a child buys? You obviously don’t have children. She said she reads the warnings on all the things she buys, and that if she were aware of the high incidence of problems with crocs on escalators her children would have worn them where appropriate, instead, she was led to believe the Crocs were a good everyday shoe. She probably researches safety items, car seats, strollers, etc, but not shoes. Yes, the child should have been in the middle of the stair. But all of you yelling at the parents should learn to read better. The article says that in every instance the child was holding a hand or the rail and that they were supervised. It also says the crocs incidents are much worse than flip-flop or shoelace incidents, because of the ‘great traction’ that Crocs have that flipflops and shoelaces do not. Read the whole thing people.

Anonymous July 12, 2008, 10:50 PM

Obviously there is an issue here but let’s face it Crocs are here to stay. They are cute and comfy and can go just about anywhere, except the escalator!! After hearing all the stories why even put your child’s safety at risk? If you’re at the mall and your kid’s wearing Crocs, take the stairs or the elevator instead. And as for a warning, we are all warned of the dangers everytime we get on an escalator by the huge signs with the red circles and diagonal lines. Be extra percautious when you are with your little ones people!

julieoklahcty July 13, 2008, 8:25 AM

What seems to be missing from all the commentary here is that these are marketed and kids see them as every day shoes—they are not—and there, CROCS is to blame—issue the warning, then let parents make the choice—

Momof4yrboy July 13, 2008, 1:08 PM

Wow, people can be so nasty in their responses. I know the issue is over the lawsuit is controversial, becasue the parents feel it is the fault of the Crocs shoe, and whether it be or not, atleast in this case, will be determined in a court. But the cruel attacks on the parenting is insensitive, and senseless. Myself and my 4 yr. son have several pairs of “Croc”-like shoes, (we choose not to pay for the high price name brand.) We find them comfortable, and for my active son whose feet get hot easy in the summer, they are much cooler than sneakers, and he can run and play in his, and wear them to Preschool, becasue they cover his toes, and the ones he has,(Lightning McQueen and Batman styles) cover the back of the foot as well.) I was never aware these type of shoes were to be considered “pool/beach” shoes. Besides myself and my son, people I know, and I have seen many people of all ages, races, incomes levels, professions, wearing these type shoes…EVERYWHERE, and at all times of the year (and in many parts of the country.) They even sell ones with fuzzy linings, so I think the Crocs type shoe is considered an everyday shoe, by what I have witnessed. But the main point I would like to make here, children will be children, and accidents are going to happen, actually accidents will happen to people of all ages, my own foot has accidently hit up aside an escalator before, but thankfully not in a Croc-type shoe, or who knows what the outcome may have been. But now that I am aware of the potential danger of this type of shoe on an escalator/or people mover, I will be extra cautious if I am to ride one while wearing such a shoe, and “try” to keep my active 4 yr. boy as cautious to the dangers. And I will pass this info on to as many people as I can. Now if Crocs, and other manufacters of these type of shoes would add some kind of warning tag to their shoes, I do not feel it would hurt the sales of their shoes, but let the consumer see how they can be responsible by informing us of such a potential danger. Wouldn’t that also help take away some of their liability…just a thought.
To all those who felt it necessary to post a nasty response, I hope whatever is so bad in your life that makes you lash out at others you can come to terms with, and better yourself, and your life. And hopefully never have any accidents befall you or any of your loved ones, especially if you have a child. Whenever my son gets a boo-boo or is sick, I am beside myself with trying to “make it better”, I can’t even imagine the horror this child, and family went/ and go through…I don’t care who thinks who is at “fault”, it was a tragic event…and possibly avoidable. I just hope the child can recover physically, and emotionally and grow to her best potential, and not let this outline her entire future.

give it up July 13, 2008, 3:26 PM

I have 3 children, so believe me when I say that I am truly sorry about the misfortunate accident. Blaming the shoes (crocs) is not the way to go! My kids wear their crocs everywhere and I will still let them. I wonder how many cases have been proven with shoe laces being sucked in on escaltors, are you going to sue Nike saying that there wasn’t a warning labelon the shoe. Accidents happen that is why they are called accidents. Take some responsibility and leave the company alone.

taking responsibility for self July 14, 2008, 10:14 AM

“Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don’t have the balls to live in the real world.”

— Mary Shafer, NASA Ames Dryden

njmom July 14, 2008, 8:41 PM

My daughter wore crocs last year. I notice that often she would trip up on her right foot. I chalked it up to the way she was walking vs. the Croc. Until one day i heard the dreaded scream when she fell and hit her tooth. She had to undergo a nasty dental procedure to save the tooth at all. Upon further research i learned that even adults feet can get caught up whe walking in crocs. They are Not safe and should be taken off the market. I now have 2 more girls and crocs are NOT an option!!

Glenda Hanson July 21, 2008, 11:25 AM

I am a prime example,(I am 53 yrs./0) August 28, 2007 I was wearing Crocs. at my job, my right Croc. stuck as if someone had slammed on their brakes. I have had many many months of Physical Therapy and surgery. I have notified Crocs. over and over, they WILL NOT except responsibility for this. I continue to try and rehabilitate my shoulder and right arm. NO, I will never put those shoes on my feet and I tell everyone I come in contact with about the DANGER with wearing those shoes. It only took once to trip and one split second to change my life forever. I am a Nurse.

Glenda Hanson

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Mike Austin June 23, 2010, 12:39 AM

Let’s focus on the actual problem here. Anybody can have an escalator accident regardless what shoe brand they are wearing, regardless if they are even wearing shoes! Someone here said she ‘Googled’Crocs accidents and, guess what—she found it. She now believes Crocs is at fault. If she would have searched for ESCALATOR ACCIDENTS instead, she would have found that the accidents are not limited to Crocs or any footwear for that matter. In fact, one person had an accident with her baby stroller! Would she blame the stoller company for not making escalator-friendly strollers? Also, I can have an escalator accident even if I’m barefoot. Now who would I sue if that happens? Another person here said Crocs have to put warning labels on their products. I mean, seriously. That would be a long list: Do not use on escalators, do not swallow, do not mix with your favorite vodka, do not use in washing machine… Ridiculous. On the other hand, the escalator companies can put up signs that say: may damage footwear, please stand between the lines, etc. Makes more sense right?


Mike Austin June 23, 2010, 12:40 AM

Let’s focus on the actual problem here. Anybody can have an escalator accident regardless what shoe brand they are wearing, regardless if they are even wearing shoes! Someone here said she ‘Googled’Crocs accidents and, guess what—she found it. She now believes Crocs is at fault. If she would have searched for ESCALATOR ACCIDENTS instead, she would have found that the accidents are not limited to Crocs or any footwear for that matter. In fact, one person had an accident with her baby stroller! Would she blame the stoller company for not making escalator-friendly strollers? Also, I can have an escalator accident even if I’m barefoot. Now who would I sue if that happens? Another person here said Crocs have to put warning labels on their products. I mean, seriously. That would be a long list: Do not use on escalators, do not swallow, do not mix with your favorite vodka, do not use in washing machine… Ridiculous. On the other hand, the escalator companies can put up signs that say: may damage footwear, please stand between the lines, etc. Makes more sense right?


Mike Austin June 23, 2010, 12:41 AM

Let’s focus on the actual problem here. Anybody can have an escalator accident regardless what shoe brand they are wearing, regardless if they are even wearing shoes! Someone here said she ‘Googled’Crocs accidents and, guess what—she found it. She now believes Crocs is at fault. If she would have searched for ESCALATOR ACCIDENTS instead, she would have found that the accidents are not limited to Crocs or any footwear for that matter. In fact, one person had an accident with her baby stroller! Would she blame the stoller company for not making escalator-friendly strollers? Also, I can have an escalator accident even if I’m barefoot. Now who would I sue if that happens? Another person here said Crocs have to put warning labels on their products. I mean, seriously. That would be a long list: Do not use on escalators, do not swallow, do not mix with your favorite vodka, do not use in washing machine… Ridiculous. On the other hand, the escalator companies can put up signs that say: may damage footwear, please stand between the lines, etc. Makes more sense right?


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