Falling merchandise can be a problem in a big box store with goods stacked 15 or 20 feet high. It can cause a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. A careless customer might be to blame, but most of the time, liability can be attributable to the retailer.
The General Rule
As per Arizona premises liability law, the owner or occupier of commercial property has a duty to use reasonable care to either warn of or repair dangerous conditions that they are aware of on the premises that they do business on. If the owner or occupier of that property knew or should have known of a dangerous condition that injures or kills a customer, that business could be held liable for damages.
The Walmart Admission
Retailers often build up rather than out to avoid the costs of warehousing and transporting merchandise, but what goes up must come down. Usually that’s done with fork lifts and pallets, but there are times when merchandise comes down by accident too. That’s when people are injured or killed. In one case, Walmart admitted to 26,000 customer complaints of injuries from falling merchandise over a six year period.
How Do Falling Merchandise Cases Happen?
If there’s an excess of a certain product, retailers will often stock it high. Heavier items should be placed at the base, but quite often, that doesn’t happen. Merchandise that is stacked 10 feet above or even higher can be unstable and fall and hit a customer. When you’re in such a store, you’re going to be looking at the displays, and not 10 or 15 feet above you. Warehouse stores are also known for “push through” when fork lifts load merchandise high above a store’s floor and push merchandise from one aisle onto the display on another aisle and cause the merchandise from that othee aisle to fall down, sometimes on customers.
Huge corporations have the money, claims departments and lawyers to fight victims in falling merchandise cases. Injured shoppers who confront these billion dollar businesses on their own are unlikely to get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries and damages. The need respected and effective professionals for that. If you or a family member suffered injuries from falling merchandise anywhere in or around Phoenix, contact our offices to arrange for a free consultation and case review. No legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or award on your behalf.