Shoppers are seriously injured by falling merchandise at the discount warehouse stores that are scattered around Maricopa County. The stores are built up rather than out, and by doing that, excess merchandise can be stacked. You would think that heavy items would be stacked at the bottom with lighter items at the top. That doesn’t always happen though, and when stacked inventory is top-heavy or otherwise poorly stacked, merchandise can fall and hit shoppers, especially on their heads or necks.
Premises Liability and Negligence
Falling merchandise cases are governed by the law of premises liability, and the law of premises liability is controlled by the law of negligence. The entity that is operating that discount warehouse store has a legal duty to keep the premises that it occupies free of hazardous conditions that might harm its customers. If that duty is breached, and a customer is injured as a result of the breach, the operating entity could be held liable for the damages that its injured customer suffered.
When you enter a discount warehouse store, there aren’t any signs posted telling you that you should wear head protection. Nothing tells you to be on the lookout for falling merchandise either, but a five pound gallon of paint falling from five feet carries 300 pounds of potentially lethal force. Injuries from falling merchandise might include the following:
- Skull fractures.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries.
- Structural spinal damage.
- Traumatic shoulder injuries.
- Wrongful death.
Negligent Stacking Practices
Warehouse stores eliminate the need for off site warehouses. They also reduce transportation costs. Here are some examples of negligent stacking and storing practices that have been known to severely injure or kill customers:
- The failure to close off aisles where merchandise is being stacked for storage.
- Not properly securing merchandise with safety ties, wrap or rails.
- Failure to properly train and supervise employees who are stacking merchandise.
- Not periodically inspecting stacked merchandise for conditions that might make it unstable.
A discount warehouse store will try to push some or all of the blame for your accident over onto you. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Call 911 if necessary. If somebody was shopping with you, ask him or her to take pictures of the accident site and any mess. No matter what the store’s insurer says, don’t give a statement. Rather than doing that and possibly hurting your case, contact our personal injury lawyer in Phoenix to arrange for a free consultation and case review. If we’re retained to represent you, no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you.