A mom says she's suing Crocs to keep kids safe.
Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.
He's not the only one.
When three-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?