Responsibility for injuries caused by falling merchandise can fall upon multiple parties, and proving these cases can involve complex issues requiring a detailed investigation into a business’ regular practices and employee training measures.
Port St. Lucie Attorneys Representing Victims in Premises Liability Cases
When entering a store or supermarket, customers assume that they may shop without the fear of being injured. However, when a business fails to train employees on the proper storing of merchandise, or when it does not have the correct shelving to handle certain items, serious injuries to patrons can result when that merchandise falls. The Port St. Lucie premises liability lawyers at Donaldson & Weston offer knowledgeable legal representation to victims injured as a result of falling merchandise. Our team represents clients in each stage of the legal process, extending from gathering evidence and investigating the source of an accident to reaching the resolution of a claim, either by a settlement or in litigation. If you have been injured by falling merchandise or another defective property condition while shopping, contact our office to speak with an attorney today about your legal rights and options.
Reasons for Falling Merchandise
Large stores and warehouses often use high shelving to maximize space and efficiency in storing and displaying merchandise. However, when these shelves are too crowded or items are improperly stacked, the potential for merchandise to fall increases, and customers can be seriously injured. Many different situations can lead to falling merchandise, including:
- Improperly installed shelving, or shelves that are not strong enough to support heavy items.
- Improper stacking of merchandise.
- Failures to warn customers of the risk of harm in reaching for certain items.
- Placing unstable or unsecured merchandise on high shelves.
- Merchandise that falls from a height or that is heavy can cause significant harm, such as brain injuries that could lead to permanent impairment, especially if a victim is an elderly individual or child . People who have been injured by falling merchandise may recover compensation from those responsible for their harm by pursuing premises liability claims.
Legal Action for Customers Injured by Falling Merchandise
Business owners must maintain their properties in a reasonably safe manner to prevent customers from being injured. This duty extends to aisles, parking lots, sidewalks, and other areas frequented by patrons. Part of this duty also means that business owners are required to store their merchandise safely, and they must also adequately train employees on how to place products on shelves to make sure that they do not fall.
Businesses must engage in regular inspections of their property to check for dangerous conditions, and they must take appropriate remedies to fix any hazards found. This includes addressing how and where products are stored. For example, a business can be held liable for a shelf that is installed improperly, leading to its collapse and merchandise falling to injure a customer, if it is shown that the owner knew that the shelf was insecure, or that it should have known if reasonable measures were taken. Victims also need to show how a liable party’s breach of duty caused their injuries and which damages were sustained. If negligence can be shown, victims may be entitled to damages, including past and future medical costs, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and in situations involving catastrophic injuries, pain and suffering.