An aspiring surgeon was Christmas shopping at Little Rock Park Plaza Mall five years ago when her boot got caught in an escalator.
It ripped off her big toe.
This week she was awarded three million dollars.
Her attorney told us the mall maintained she was at fault for her injury– until last week.
Park plaza admitted liability which changed this week’s trial.
The jury only had to determine what harms and losses were caused by the mall’s negligence.
Just like millions of Americans during the holidays.
22-year-old Aisha Siddiqui was Christmas shopping at the mall. But as she took an escalator down to the next park plaza store, she got stuck.
“Not a flipflip not a flimsy shoe, but her boot went all the way under that comb teeth plate and it was trapped in a gap. What we know is that gaps permit traps,” said Attorney Denise Hoggard.
According to the surveillance video the escalator kept going for ten long seconds shredding Siddiqui’s boot and her big toe, before someone shut it off.
Her attorney said she later found out that good samaritan knew what to do because he had to push the same emergency button a couple weeks prior at the same mall for the same escalator.
“This escalator was installed in 1988 and it had not been upgraded to include those safety devices,” said Hoggard.
Siddiqui lost her toe.Three days later the Donaghey Scholar at UA Little Rock was wheeled across the stage to accept her diploma.
“She was heavily medicated and she was in great pain,” said Hoggard.
Siddiqui’s pain continues as she learns how to walk on the side of her foot preparing for knee, hip and back problems as she ages.
“Every step she takes she doesn’t have that locomotion to propel her forward,” said Hoggard.
Now Siddiqui is a 27-year-old medical student whose dreams of becoming a surgeon were cut short because she can no longer stand for more than a few hours at a time.
“She simply doesn’t want to put patients at the kind of russian roulette risk that she was placed on when she put her foot on to that escalator,” said Hoggard.