(KUTV) — The parents of a child who lost her fingers in the escalator at a Salt Lake area Smith's Marketplace are now suing the company, along with the company that manufactured the parts used in the escalator.
The suit alleges the Smith's Marketplace located at 455 South 500 East in Salt Lake City did not properly maintain its escalator, resulting in the amputation of the child's fingers.
The store's permit to operate escalators expired just 17 days before the child's fingers were amputated in the machine on September 20, 2017, court documents state.
Court documents also state the escalator in question had not been in compliance with state law for nearly two years prior to the accident.
The escalator had missing and defective components, court documents state, at the time Silvia Zamora took her daughter shopping at the Smith's location.
Zamora was purchasing groceries in the self-check out when her daughter, age 3 at the time, went around the register while Zamora continued her purchase.
Zamora said she then heard a scream and ran around the register to find her daughter at the bottom of the escalator, "surrounded by a pool of blood."
The escalator did not shut off and the machine's safety switches did not engage, despite the presence of Zamora's daughter's two fingers, caught in the comb plate.
Court documents state the escalator had missing or broken comb teeth, which state inspectors had advised the store to repair in September of 2015.
An employee came and shut off the escalator. Zamora put her daughter's fingers in a baggie and drove her to the hospital. Despite several attempts, doctors were not able to re-attach her daughter's fingers.
Zamora's daughter has described that "Smith's took my fingers," the lawsuit states.
Zamora and her husband are suing for non-economic damages sustained by their family, including "pain and suffering, severe emotional distress and mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life." They are also suing for economic damages, including medical bills incurred after the amputation. The suit also claims the Zamoras have suffered a loss of filial consortium — affection, love and companionship — as a result of their daughter's permanent disfigurement.