The holiday season is synonymous with great sales as retailers try to entice shoppers to their stores. However, crowded malls and box stores also create safety risk, especially on Black Friday. In the event that you or a loved one is injured while shopping, it is important to understand that the retailer may be liable for the unfortunate event.
COMMON SHOPPING INJURIES
SLIP AND FALLS
According to a report, 25,000 people per day are injured in a slip and fall in the United States during the holiday season. With the increase of shoppers in malls and stores across the country there is an increased risk of being injured in a slip and fall. Common reasons for a slip and falls are:
- SLIPPERY FLOOR FROM SPILLED DRINKS OR RAIN;
- ITEMS ON THE FLOOR THAT WERE DROPPED BY SHOPPERS; AND
- ITEMS ON FLOOR THAT FELL OFF OF THE SHELVES.
With greater crowds and stress of the holidays, it is not uncommon for fights and other assaults to occur. In one recent example, a person in Walmart injured twenty people when she sprayed shoppers with pepper spray while shopping for an Xbox. Some shoppers were transported to the hospital, due to burning eyes, throat, and swollen faces.
TRAMPLED BY A CROWD
In 2008, shoppers trampled a Walmart employee after they knocked him over when the doors opened to the store. The crowd of people camped out beginning in the early morning hours anticipating the opening of the store. Once the doors opened, the crowd began pushing resulting in injuries to other store employees as well as a pregnant shopper.
STORES LIABILITY FOR INJURIES
Under New York State law, a business owner owes has a duty of care to its shoppers and employees. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are certain crowd control guidelines for Black Friday. This includes:
- HIRING SECURITY;
- IMPLEMENTING CROWD CONTROL PLANS;
- KEEPING ENTRANCES AND EXITS ACCESSIBLE;
- HAVING AN EMPLOYEE ONLY ENTRANCE;
- DEVELOPING CONTINGENCY PLANS IN THE EVENT OF AN UNEXPECTED SITUATION; AND
- EMERGENCY TREATMENT AVAILABLE FOR INJURED SHOPPERS OR EMPLOYEES.
While the holiday shopping season may provide some killer deals on certain items, it also generates large crowds of shoppers, which is why it is important to be careful. If you or a loved one has been injured while shopping, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Richard P. Rinaldo, Esq are skilled personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.