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Retailers Can Be Held Liable For Trip And Fall Injuries Sustained By Customers While Shopping

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For the first time in my life, I actually went shopping on Black Friday this year.  I went to Toys"R"Us, and the only reason I went was for my 2 boys.

Yes, it was utter chaos.  What we see in the news really does happen!

trip and fall accident at PA NJ storesIn addition to the chaos, I also noticed the odd placement of toys throughout the store.  "Hot" items or toys would be piled up in the middle of aisles where customers would normally walk.

The reason the items were placed where they were was to entice consumers to pick one up as they walked by.  However, these "hot" items or toys were right in the middle of the aisles, which in my opinion, were dangerous tripping hazards.

Sometimes, when a customer took the item from the display pile, others would typically fall to the ground, causing other customers who walk by later to possibly trip on the item and fall.  I was one of those customers.  Thankfully, I regained my balance and did not trip and fall on my face.

Retailers and stores have the duty to keep the premises or store reasonably safe for their customers, i.e., prevent tripping hazards.  In New Jersey, retailers could be held responsible for injuries suffered by customers due to the manner the items and merchandise are displayed.

In the New Jersey case of O'Shea v. K-Mart Corp., a woman was trying to get a golf bag in K-Mart down from a high shelf.  As she got the bag down, she was injured when another heavy golf bag fell off the shelf and hit her.  The New Jersey court ruled that negligence could be inferred and held K-Mart liable for plaintiff's injuries.

Click here to read a related legal article: Shopping This Holiday Season? Beware Of Potential Dangerous Merchandise Displays To Avoid Injuries In NJ

On Black Friday, if customers hurt themselves because of the placement of the toys, the store may be liable for the customers' injuries.  It can be argued that by placing a large display of merchandise in the middle of the aisles on the busiest shopping day of the year, the store knew or should have known that the merchandise would fall.  As a result, the store created dangerous tripping hazards for its customers.

For more info about premises liability or trip and fall lawsuits in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, click on the articles below:

Category: Premises Liability

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