Crocs Lawsuit: Westminster Parents Sue Shoemaker After Kid Loses Toe in Escalator Accident

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Crocs--they're surely a fashion crime, but are they dangerous?

A couple in Westminster says so. Allon and Josephine Motzney are suing the maker of the infamous rubber clogs after their 4-year-old daughter lost her little toe while riding an escalator inside JCPenney at Westminster Mall. The Crocs she was wearing got caught in the side of the moving escalator, which apparently is a pretty common thing. In 2008, Colorado-based Crocs Inc. acknowledged in a letter to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission that it had received 186 claims of escalator injuries. Young children, the only group that should be allowed to wear those things in public, are most at risk. 

According to claims on, the problem may have to do with the clogs' flexibility and grip, the biggest selling points of the shoes. "Some report the shoes get caught in the 'teeth' at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator," the site reads.  

Crocs puts a warning tag on its children's clogs, telling wearers to: 

  • Stand facing forward in the center of the step.
  • Step on and off carefully.
  • Do not touch sides below handrail.
  • Avoid the sides of the steps where shoe entrapment can occur.
  • Supervise children at all times.

But that's not sufficient for the Motzneys, who are asking for $2 million in their lawsuit filed on Jan. 26 in federal court in Santa Ana.

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Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

If this company knew they had a problem with the shoes getting caught in escalators, then simply putting a tag on the shoes to that effect won't cut it.

Losing a toe is a serious matter.  Look at how uncomfortable it is to have a pebble in your shoe.  Now imagine what missing a toe must be like.

The Crocs company needs to do more to warn parents about this hazard.


Based on the article, the parents commited 2 crimes. The first was shopping at JC Pennys. The second was shopping anywhere at the Westminster Mall. They should tear that place down and put a parking lot. That place is nasty.


You got 9 more... Walk it off! 

Bill T.
Bill T.

I get your point, just a couple of thoughts.

Random weird stuff is going to happen, we're not going to legislate ourselves into an environment that is free of all risk (apparently a goal of many people). Think of the idiot case where some maroon was jumping between People Mover cars and fell underneath and got killed. Disney Corp. was apparently (held) liable (??? - as I remember) because they weren't able to protect him against his own stupidity. Not implying these cases are analgous other than to illustrate a point about risk, obviously one accident result of intentional actions, the other I assume to be inadvertant (not knowing what the child was doing at the time they were trapped). I take the stairs whenever possible I am at risk of tripping and falling (being a famous clutz), who should be held liable?

I would suspect that the escalavator was poorly maintained and/or designed if someone was able to get caught between moving and stationary parts. I've never seen one that other than very small objects would fit into the gaps. I would like to know more particulars about exactly what happened.


Yeah of course blame some one other than the parent... since I was a kid in the early 80's  my mom taught me to ride an escalator correctly... How about a little personal responsibility? 


You must be a bad check writer....they ALWAYS spell jcpenney wrong!


I don't know how to spell it because I don't go there. They won't be around much longer anyway. They had to cut their prices 40%. What does that tell you about them?

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