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SALT LAKE CITY — A family is suing Smith's Marketplace after their daughter lost two fingers that they say got caught in an escalator.
Attorneys for Ramon Moreno and Silvia Zamora, of Salt Lake County, filed the lawsuit Monday accusing Smith's and Schindler Elevator Corporation — a Delaware company that serviced the escalator in the Salt Lake store, 455 S. 500 East — of failing to properly maintain and inspect the escalator before it sliced off their daughter's fingers.
Silvia Zamora was shopping with her daughter, Adalene, whose age isn't specified in the suit other than describing her as a minor, on Sept. 20 last year when the incident occurred.
Zamora was at the self-checkout register located on the top floor of the store when Adalene went around the register. Zamora was still completing her purchase when she heard a scream, the suit states.
The mother ran around the register to find Adalene at the bottom of the escalator "surrounded by a pool of blood," according to the lawsuit.
"Silvia quickly descended the escalator and saw, to her horror, that Adalene was missing the middle and ring fingers of her left hand, just below the middle knuckles," the suit states.
Zamora also found blood where the escalator's lower landing comb plate met the escalator step, according to the suit.
"Despite the amputation of two fingers and despite the fingers being caught in the comb plate and/or other escalator components, the escalator safety switch(es) did not engage and the escalator was still operating," the lawsuit states.
The escalator continued to function until a Smith's employee stopped it. The escalator comb plate was lifted and Adalene's two "amputated fingers were removed and placed into a baggie," the lawsuit states.
Adalene was rushed to a hospital, but surgeons were unable to reattach her fingers, the lawsuit states.
"Adalene has described that 'Smith's took my fingers,' and that 'I chopped them off at the alligator (escalator),'" the lawsuit states.
As a result, "Adalene has sustained, and will continue to sustain, non-economic damages, including, without limitation, pain and suffering, severe emotional distress and mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages as recoverable by law," the lawsuit states.
Attorneys for Adalene's parents say in the lawsuit that Smith's certificate of inspection and permit to operate escalators expired on Sept. 3, 2017 — 17 days before Adalene's fingers were severed.
Attorneys also point out the Division of Boiler and Elevator Safety observed in a September 2015 letter that the escalator "was not in compliance" with Utah's elevator law, and the letter advised Smith's to make corrections, including "replace all broken comb teeth on the entrance and/or exit of the escalator/moving walk."
At the time that Adalene lost her fingers, the escalator had missing and/or broken comb teeth, along with missing or defective parts, the lawsuit claims.
The family is suing for damages in an amount to be determined at trial.
Smith's officials did not return a request for comment.