Business owners in general work hard to ensure that their buildings, grounds, offices, garages, warehouses, and stores are safe. Store owners must be especially vigilant due to the number of people that walk in to shop. Clothing stores, hardware stores, and supermarkets all display merchandise in as many ways as they can to maintain space, maximize efficiency, and catch the customer’s eye. Unfortunately, sometimes storekeepers or their independent contractor vendors will set up displays without carefully thinking through all of the possible safety hazards.
Displays for products that are unsafely built or assembled can cause unsuspecting customers to get hurt. Those that have been injured as a result of a store’s negligence in the method that it is displaying items, may be able to hold the store accountable for the harm. Anyone harmed in this manner should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, so as to meet any statutes of limitations that may apply.
A case in North Carolina demonstrates the importance that a store has in maintaining safe product displays – and that any injured person should reach out for help as soon as they can.
North Carolina resident, John Cain, was shopping for dog food at a Walmart near his neighborhood. The store had laid out two piles of 50-pound bags. One pile of bagged dog food was stacked seven feet high, while the other was a bit shorter. When Mr. Cain bent over to pick up one of the bags from the shorter pile, several other bags toppled off of the taller pile – knocking him to the floor.
John was treated at the hospital and released that day – but sadly, after resting at home, he found that he was unable to get out of bed for the next three weeks. Before his injury, John had enjoyed being very active, but after his injury, he was basically forced to stop all physical activity.
Mr. Cain did not make an appointment with an injury lawyer until just before the deadline for filing a lawsuit, and he apparently received limited medical treatment before that. But once John’s case against Walmart was filed, he was diagnosed with a back injury that would keep him from lifting more than five pounds and the injury would end up causing him permanent physical pain.
At first, Walmart initially claimed that Mr. Cain was not being careful enough when picking up the bag of dog food and that the injuries were his own fault, but they soon dropped that defense before trial and admitted responsibility. Subsequently, the only issue that remained at trial was how much compensation that Mr. Cain was owed.
By relying on video surveillance footage of the incident and testimony from John’s children as to how much their lives had been impacted by their father’s injuries, a jury decided on a large damage award – nearly five times the amount of Walmart’s highest pre-trial settlement offer.
At The Floyd Law Firm PC, we understand how important it is that we work towards positive results for our clients regarding premises liability cases and personal injury claims. We know our local courts and what strategies work best in them. Our firm has more than 100 years of combined experience that allows us to provide highly effective legal services if you are accidentally injured by no fault of your own. If you get hurt, please contact us for a consultation as soon as you are able.