September 16, 2021
Falling items, reasonably displaying items on store shelves and securing displays so they do not fall on patrons are not typical thoughts that come to mind when discussing premise liability or store negligence. Property owners have an obligation to preserve a premise in such a way that patrons are not exposed to avoidable harm and unreasonable risks. A property owner owes a duty to preserve the premise in a reasonable safe condition which includes safely storing merchandise on shelves and securing display towers. While slip and falls resulting from liquid spills or unmarked wet floors are the most common premise liability cases, negligence does arise when store injuries result from falling items.
The best way to avoid store injuries in general, is for property owners and occupiers to maintain their premises and make reasonable repairs to avoid preventable accidents including securing displays and shelving so that patrons are not injured by falling items. Further, property owners and occupiers should be aware of the most common causes of store injuries arising in premise liability actions.
Falling items at a department store, resulting from store negligence, causes a minor child to fall and hit her head on the floor sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Traumatic Brain Injury Case Study: A minor 5-year old child was walking in a department store when a bookcase fell from its display. Impact to the minor was so forceful, especially when considering the size of display in comparison to the minor girl. The dangerous display was negligently assembled and not adequately secured so when it fell impact caused the minor to hit her head forcefully on the floor and she suffered from a traumatic brain injury. The minor child had incurred roughly $46,700 in past medical expenses. The guardian of the minor retained the services of a TBI personal injury lawyer and filed a personal injury claim against the department store. The underlying complaint alleged store negligence or premises liability alleging that the department store created a dangerous condition with the bookcase display. After filling the premise liability claim the minor was subjected to a battery neurological testswhich confirmed that the dangerous display caused cognitive and functional impairments. Ultimately the case settled before trial when the parties reached a structed settlement for $3 million dollars.
Minor Jane Doe v. Roe Department Store (Confidential Case Settlement; October 2004; Cause of Actions: Premise Liability, Negligence, Store Negligence, Dangerous Condition on a Store Premises; Filing Court: United States District Court, Eastern District of California)
Premises Liability Case Results, please see links below: