Baby Dies on Airport Conveyor Belt

     ATLANTA (CN) – A 5-month-old baby was crushed to death when an airport luggage conveyor threw her from her car seat into a gap between two conveyor belts, her mother claims in court.
     Nathania Terry sued Vanderlande Industries on Sept. 12 in Federal Court.
     Netherlands-based Vanderlande is a global supplier of luggage handling systems for airports and parcel and postal carriers. Its North American headquarters in Marietta, Ga. serves the United States, Canada and Mexico.
     In September 2013, Terry travelled with her 5-month-old daughter Vashti and her other child from Maryland to Alicante, Spain.
     “Upon arrival in Alicante, Spain, Ms. Terry ushered her children toward the baggage claim,” the complaint states. “Vashti was sitting in her car seat. Ms. Terry placed Vashti’s car seat on a non-moving, or stationary, belt while she reached to retrieve Vashti’s stroller from the end of the belt. The belt suddenly and without warning turned on, throwing Vashti into a crevice where two different conveyor belts abutted.
     “Ms. Terry frantically tried to rescue Vashti, but her efforts were unsuccessful. Five-month old Vashti was crushed to death on Sept. 18, 2013.”
     The mother claims the conveyor belts at the airport, designed and manufactured by Vanderlande, had sensors that activated them when they detected objects.
     She says placing the car seat on the belt put the conveyor in motion, throwing her daughter onto the luggage belt.
     She claims there was no way to stop the conveyor and no warning about activating sensors.
     She seeks punitive damages for wrongful death, negligence, design defects and failure to warn.
     She is represented by Joseph Coomes with McConnell & Sneed.
     Vanderlande said it does not comment on pending litigation.
     Spanish authorities said in a statement last year that the luggage carousel complied with safety standards, and that the baby had died due to parental neglect.

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