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Lawsuit says Pittsburgh International Airport escalator malfunction caused knee fracture

| Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 4:30 p.m.
Travelers walk through Pittsburgh International Aiport's ticketing area on Jan. 19, 2018.
Travelers walk through Pittsburgh International Aiport's ticketing area on Jan. 19, 2018.

A Pittsburgh man is suing the Allegheny County Airport Authority because he said he fractured his knee getting off a malfunctioning escalator at Pittsburgh International Airport in November.

According to the complaint, filed this month in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Earsell Fitzgerald was riding the escalator down to the train after getting off a flight from Houston.

As Fitzgerald was standing on the escalator, one of the stairs came apart from the escalator creating a “gaping hole and uneven surface,” the complaint said.

The hole caused Fitzgerald to fall to the ground and hit his knee, fracturing it, the complaint said.

The injury has affected Fitzgerald's ability to work and resulted in lost wages and benefits, the complaint said. He needed two surgeries as a result, and will need at least one more.

The authority does not comment on pending litigation, said Bob Kerlik, airport spokesman.

The lawsuit also names Schindler Elevator Corp. as a defendant — a company based in Switzerland with a U.S. headquarters in Morristown, N.J.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, or via Twitter @tclift.

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