Injured Children

How many kids will be hurt before we see change? Atlanta, Georgia: In response to serious injuries to hundreds of children related to Croc shoes, lawsuits have been filed in Atlanta and around the nation. With over 235 injuries documented, the dangers of these popular shoes are finally beginning to become known to the general public. In nearly all the cases, children wearing Crocs while riding an escalator have gotten their feet literally sucked into the sides of the escalator. Injuries range from lacerations, fractures, shattering of the toes and feet, to ‘degloving’—which literally means, the skin is pulled off of the foot, much like one would pull a glove off of one’s hand.

Cases in Atlanta involve children at Hartsfield Jackson Airport and on MARTA escalators. The escalators in question have been inspected by the Department of Labor and have been relieved from culpability said Andy Askin, a New York attorney handling several of the federal cases. Despite that, the airport and various MARTA stations have voluntarily created signage warning parents and children about the dangers of Croc shoes on escalators, while the company who makes the shoes - Croc Footwear - has issued no such warning.   “The absolute worst part of all of these cases is that Croc Footwear knows about hundreds of injured children and they won’t do a thing about it to warn parents of the dangers of these shoes,” said Roger Orlando, an Atlanta attorney who is representing a family of a two year-old girl whose foot was sucked into a MARTA escalator, degloved and paralyzed. As a result, this little girl may have to have her foot amputated. Recently, Askin was contacted by a US Marine, who had done two tours of duty in Iraq. The Marine thanked him for taking the Crocs cases as he had witnessed a child wearing Crocs getting sucked into an escalator.

The Marine said the event was more traumatic than any of his medic experience in the emergency room while at war. Askin said that in several cases the parents, unable to pull their children free of the escalator, hear their children’s feet breaking and watch the shoes get torn to bits. The problem is not only in America. Recently the Japanese Industry of Trade, METI, instructed the makers of Crocs to redesign their shoes after 65 children were injured in a 6 month period while wearing Crocs and riding escalators. “These are children who, to the delight of their families, just recently began walking on their own. Now these kids have suffered hospital stays, numerous surgeries, and amputation and often have to use a walker at age 2, 3 and 4. It’s heartbreaking,” said Orlando. “How many more kids will have to suffer before Crocs take responsibility?” While Croc Footwear has settled several cases, others are still pending. “Despite knowing its shoes are causing serious injuries, this company has refused to change its product” said GTLA president Fred Orr. “If not for lawsuits in response to serious injuries like these, kids would still be wearing flammable pajamas, cars would be exploding, and baby toys would be full of lead paint. Our Civil Justice System is the only place where individuals and families can demand that corporate wrongdoers change their ways. Hopefully this company will do the right thing and either change the way they make these shoes or take them off the market. If not, people like Roger and Andy will keep fighting for these injured kids.”