Archive for the ‘premises liability’ tag

How Dangerous is Black Friday?

November 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am

black friday, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyOver the past 15 years or so, the day after Thanksgiving has been the traditional holiday shopping day kickoff. Retailers typically offer significant sales—particularly on high-end ticket items—attracting millions of shoppers to take to the malls. Last year, over 90 million shoppers hit retail establishments on Black Friday.

Historically, venturing out into the retail world the day after Thanksgiving meant dealing with thousands of other shoppers in search of finding the biggest bargains. With Black Friday just days away, it looks like this year will be no different. Although most people associate holiday gift giving with goodwill and peace, Black Friday has created dozens of incidents of dangerous—and sometimes fatal—situations for people who were only looking to save money on gifts.

One study determined just how dangerous Black Friday is by examining the number of reported fatalities and injuries which have occurred since 2006. According to the study, there have been at least seven people killed and 98 others injured in incidents which occurred at retail establishments on Black Friday. The most “dangerous” place to be on Black Friday was at the large discount retailer Walmart, since this is where the most number of Black Friday injuries have taken place.

One of the most well-known scenes that many people associate with Black Friday is of a retail establishment unlocking their doors and a tidal wave of shoppers comes crashing through those doors. However, those tidal waves have caused dozens of injuries to people, including the death of one man.

Although many incidents of injuries involve people getting pushed or trampled, there have been several cases where a weapon was used on a victim. The number one weapon used is pepper spray, which has caused injuries to at least 41 people.

The incidents do not only occur in the stores—there have also been numerous events in parking lots where the demand of spaces far exceeds the supply. In 2012, two people were shot in a Florida Walmart parking lot over a parking space dispute.

If a person is injured while shopping on Black Friday—or any other day—just how liable is that store for the injuries?

People may be responsible for their own actions; however, the stores where you shop may also have a responsibility to their customers to provide a safe environment. In fact, even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided a safety checklist for retailers to follow in order to keep both workers and customers safe during this annual shopping event. This checklist was developed in response to the crowd trampling to death of a Walmart employee.

Retailers do have a duty of care to their customers that falls under the premises liability theory. They are required to keep the store safe and clear of dangers and hazards. Not only does this include making sure that customers are not exposed to areas in the store where they could fall or have something fall on them, but it also applies to safety and security of customers. Knowing that certain events in the store may create chaos and mayhem if not run under controlled circumstances, but failing to hire security to facilitate that controlled environment, could cause a retailer to be liable for injuries a person receives in that chaos.

If you have sustained injuries because of the act of another person, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.

Sources: ion/cevallos-black-friday/

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