Jurors award woman $3 million after mall escalator crushed her toe

Courtesy: Denise Haggard

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) — An aspiring surgeon was awarded $3 million by a jury in Pulaski County, Arkansas after court documents say her right big toe was ripped off by an escalator at a Little Rock mall.

Aisha Siddiqui's attorney says her client was shopping at the Park Plaza mall in December 2013 when the nightmare began.

Siddiqui filed a lawsuit against the mall 10 months after her injury.

"She simply went to the mall, went shopping and came out without a toe," attorney Densie Hoggard said.

"When her foot was lodged in there and was being drug forward, the machinery inside that escalator ground her toe up into hamburger meat."

Surveillance video shows the exact moment Siddiqui's big toe was caught in an escalator.

"What we know from the physical evidence is the steps somehow dropped below the combed teeth," Hoggard said. "Her boot went in all the way at that point."

Hogagrd says Siddiqui underwent two surgeries and spent six months in recovery, which put a major halt on her medical studies.

Five years later, Hoggard says the aspiring surgeon is still dealing with the consequences.

"We still don't know if she is going to meet the physical requirements of completing her rotations, because they require long hours on your feet."

Hoggard says the escalator was built in 1988. She says it was not equipped with modern safety features such as an automatic stop when an item is caught.

But Hoggard says up until last week, the mall did not take responsibility for the accident.

"If the mall had upgraded and kept pace with technology, she would not have been injured," she said.

Though her injuries will stay with her for life, Hoggard says Siddiqui is using her experience as a teaching moment to shine a light on public safety.

Aishia Siddiqui said in a statement,

"I never wanted to to be involved in a lawsuit, and I had to relive this horrible experience when I testified about it. It was never about the money. I did this because they were telling me this was my fault and I knew it wasn't. My hope is that this will go a long way to helping keep public safety in the minds of companies responsible to protecting us all."

Her attorney tells us the escalator has since been replaced and updated with modern safety features.

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