Falling merchandise is an area of the law dealing with premises liability. Falling merchandise in Walmart stores has been a problem ever since these stores opened. Walmart stores have many of their merchandise on the sales floor by stacking it high along the aisleways. This high stacking of merchandise has produced considerable litigation.
Under premises liability law, stores have a legal duty to protect their customers from falling merchandise, but there are no laws that define safe stocking practices. OSHA regulations are designed to protect employees from injury while stocking, and there are some fire codes that govern certain things like how close to the ceiling merchandise can be stacked, but shelf design and devices such as railing, strap, and shrink wrap, which could prevent merchandise from falling, are not mandated by law.
The law recognizes that merchants have a duty to invitees to exercise reasonable care to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn of unsafe or hazardous conditions of which the merchant knows or should know through reasonable care and inspection. An invitee is a person who is invited to enter or remain on the premises for a commercial benefit to the possessor of premises, or for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor. Walmart customers are invitees, as they are actively invited to come to the premises and to purchase merchandise while on the premises. Walmart owes a duty to its customers to keep its stores, aisles, passages, and other public places in a reasonably safe condition and to use ordinary care to prevent injuries to customers.
Falling merchandise claims are often complex. A common defense asserted in these types of claims is that the merchandise was caused to fall by the actions of some other customer. Most courts have rejected that intervening cause type of argument on the grounds that other customers’ conduct is foreseeable. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of falling merchandise in a Walmart store contact the Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay.
Falling merchandise accidents can potentially leave victims with catastrophic, life-changing injuries and you and your family will need a compensation figure that will last a lifetime. The experienced Walmart falling merchandise accident lawyers and premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay are here to offer you their professional services in this hard time. Contact our office today at (619) 442-0542 for a free legal consultation.
Characteristics of Falling Merchandise Cases
- They involve high stacking. Items are often stacked 15 feet or more off the floor.
- The stacked merchandise items are usually not secured. Stores do not use devices like security bars, fencing, or shelf extenders on high shelves to restrain merchandise because of the expenses involved and the time it would take employees to use them.
- These cases generally involve moving merchandise that has been stacked unstably, moving items on one shelf in such a way that items on an adjacent shelf fall, placing boxes of different sizes on top of each other, and stacking heavy items on top of lighter ones.
- Failure to provide customers with any warning of potential danger.
- Lack of employee training. Store personnel is often inadequately trained in proper stocking techniques or the recognition and correction of the potential hazards of falling objects.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an unsafe Walmart, contact the Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay. We have experienced Walmart falling merchandise accident lawyers who successfully litigating Walmart stores and who will work hard to help you receive fair and just compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at (619) 442-0542.