All types of shops, stores, boutiques, and retail outlets owe the visiting public a reasonable duty of care to keep their premises safe. A reasonable duty of care refers to the retail store’s responsibility to foresee any type of hazard as being dangerous, and taking action to correct it and forewarn others of its existence.
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What Kinds of Retail Displays Cause Injuries?
Most types of retail displays carry a potential for causing injury. Some floor displays are more prone to accidents, including the following scenarios:
- Displays that Protrude Into Aisles: Commonly found in retail stores, displays such as racks or other structures that extend into the aisle may cause a problem for passersby. Display shelves or cases that protrude and present a tripping hazard, or sharp edges that may hurt a person, can be cause for a negligence lawsuit against the store owner. If the store does not take reasonable care to prevent injury to others, they are opening themselves up for legal action.
- Displays That May Fall onto Customers: If it is reasonably foreseeable that a display case, rack, or other stacked items may fall onto customers, it is the store owner’s responsibility and duty of care to correct the potential problem. Even if other customers rearranged the items which led to someone’s injury, the store may be liable. A store may also be held liable if a customer pushed their shopping cart into a display, causing items to fall on themselves or others.
- Displays That Result in Floor Debris: Some displays are known for issues related to debris that has fallen onto the floor. In grocery stores, displays that house produce and other self-service items must be carefully attended-to and cleaned up so as not to pose an unreasonable amount of danger to customers. Store owners may be held liable for displays that, with a certain amount of foreseeability would indicate a potential reoccurring debris hazard. Handing out samples and the ensuing trash may also cause a foreseeable hazard. Additionally, any type of display that holds ice and water, such as a soda cooler or watermelon tank, must be properly taken care-of so as not to create a slip and fall hazard.
Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you have been injured by a retail display, you should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to further advise you of your options, and provide guidance as to your next steps. If you decide to proceed with your case, your attorney will help you file a lawsuit and represent your best interests in court.