Store Owners Have a Responsibility to Keep Their Customers Safe
While it is generally understood that people should exert reasonable caution when out in public, store owners are not absolved from maintaining a safe environment.
Business owners look forward to the holiday season because they know it will be a busy time for them. They adjust their inventories and prices accordingly and hope that brisk business in December will make up for slower times experienced earlier in the year. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that the physical premises will be similarly equipped to handle larger crowds—but that is often not the case.
A tourist from London visiting New York set out to partake in one of the city’s legendary shopping venues. While browsing in the shoe department, she learned first-hand of the dangers posed by a disorganized, understaffed retail environment. As she was making her way around the store, she did not see a large swath of the floor that was littered with shoe boxes. As a result, she tripped and fell face-first into a glass panel, breaking her nose.
Langsam Law brought a lawsuit against the store for negligence on behalf of the woman. The defense claimed that she should have been more careful and “watched where she was going.” The defense also claimed that an employee was stationed on site for the specific purpose of keeping the floor clean and safe, yet the facts clearly illustrated that this employee failed to do his job. Despite the fact that she may have been partially at fault (if, in fact, she was not paying attention), this did not absolve the store’s negligence or prevent a recovery for our client.
This case provides an important lesson to those who have been injured by a business’ negligence: Parties who have been negligent often try to shift the blame on the victim. Unfortunately, many victims fall for this cynical strategy and believe they don’t have a case. The only way to know if you have a case is to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
For more information on the responsibilities of store owners, contact Langsam Law.
Note: Prior results do not guarantee similar results.