Falling merchandise is an area of the law dealing with premises liability. Walmart falling merchandise accident claims in stores has been a problem ever since these stores opened. Walmart stores has many of their merchandise on the sales floor by stacking it high along the aisle ways. 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 not laws which define safe stocking practices. OSHA regulations are designed to protect employees from injury while stocking, and there are some fire codes which 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 customer’s conduct is foreseeable.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an unsafe Walmart falling merchandise accident, contact the Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay. We have experience successfully litigating Walmart stores and will work hard to help you receive fair and just compensation for your injuries. Call our office today at (877) 442-0542.
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