In a season of frenzied shopping, there is a caution in this case of merchandise falling from a shelf that causes a Traumatic Brain Injury. In this holiday season, people are crowding into stores, warehouse retail operations, and many other shopping venues. Often the most popular items are selling quickly. Rapidly selling items often need to be replenished on the shelves frequently. When shopping, however, most people are not looking upward to be aware of falling merchandise.
In one case, a woman aged 59 was shopping in a retail establishment. While a store employee was assisting her, the employee tried to retrieve an item from a higher shelf. While trying to retrieve the item several other items fell from the shelf into the aisle. One of the falling items struck the woman (plaintiff) in the head.
The plaintiff began to experience symptoms from the blow to her head immediately. She was able to submit an incident report regarding the falling merchandise. She then left the store unassisted and drove home. She saw a physician later, and received a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
The parties chose to resolve the issue through mediation. The defendant and attorneys (the store employee) claimed that the plaintiff could not prove how or why the merchandise fell. They also claimed that it was impossible to prove that the employee’s actions caused the merchandise to fall from the shelf. The defense also argued that the plaintiff had not sustained injury from the falling merchandise and that she was exaggerating and faking the injuries claimed as a result of the incident.
The plaintiff’s past medical bills totaled $26,690. The case was settled through mediation, with the plaintiff receiving a financial settlement of $1,850,000.
We are frequently reminded that we need to be aware of our surroundings and of what is happening around us. This is true for a number of reasons. This case is a reminder that awareness is needed also when shopping. Whether amid the chaos of holiday shopping or at any other time during the year, we do well to be attentive to activity around us and alert to the potential for injury.
If you or a loved one is injured by merchandise falling from shelves or by a sales associate causing the items to fall, or by any other action beyond your control, you may be entitled to recover damages. When you are injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person and through no fault of your own, call Roanoke’s trusted personal injury attorney Bettina Altizer. Bettina and her team at Altizer Law, P.C., have a long history of success in representing each client to obtain the largest possible financial settlement. They work hard to give clients the best possible chance of moving forward with their lives after injury.