Grocery stores, such as Kroger and Food Lion and superstores like Walmart, sporting goods stores, and home improvement stores like Home Depot face lawsuits all the time from customers who are injured inside or outside their premises. Common accidents that occur at stores big and small involve slips, falls and assaults, but there’s another breed of premises liability claim involving stores and it’s for “falling merchandise.”
Unfortunately, stores are busy places and during the holidays, they can be even crazier. In any given day, hundreds, if not thousands of people can walk in and out of stores. Because there is so much going on at stores, it’s crucial that they make safety a top priority for customers. This means cleaning up spills promptly, hiring security guards in high-crime areas, installing security cameras, and stacking merchandise carefully.
When Merchandise Falls
Stores can be sued for falling merchandise. Generally, merchandise can fall when it’s stacked too high or when an employee or a customer accidentally knock merchandise over. Sometimes, an employee is on a ladder getting a box on a high shelf for a customer, the employee accidentally knocks merchandise over, and it falls on the customers below. Sometimes, it was dangerously stacked earlier and it later falls on customers. Depending on the weight of the merchandise, the injuries can be severe.
Imagine this scenario: A couple is shopping at a superstore and there is an item that they would like to see, but there aren’t any within reach. So, they ask an employee to get a box down for them. The problem is, the employee isn’t trained on stocking shelves and he’s usually at the register.
As the employee tries to remove a box as he stands on a ladder, he accidentally knocks over several heavy boxes, which land on top of the customers’ heads, causing head, neck, and back injuries. Well, something very similar actually happened at one of the nation’s biggest superstores and the plaintiffs won the suit and the defendant’s subsequent appeal.
Have you sustained injuries after merchandise fell on you at a retail establishment or another type of business? If so, contact our firm to meet with a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney.