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Retail And Department Stores

Store owners are responsible for making sure that the patrons in the store are safe. Arguably, this duty to provide a safe retail or department store is heightened due to the large volume of customers who proceed through a retail or department store on an hourly basis. The following are illustrations of cases we have handled representing injured people due to retail or department store negligence.

Benjamin W.

In a downtown department store in Louisville, Kentucky, a 74-year-old retiree, Benjamin W., was shopping for a suit to wear to his 55th class reunion at Central High School. After making his purchase at the retail store located on Fourth Street in Jefferson County, Kentucky, the patron turned to descend down three steps from an elevated second floor. At that time, his foot slipped causing him to fall down all three of the stairs landing on both of his knees and suffering bilateral quadriceps ruptures. When he looked back to view the stairs he had fallen down, he noticed that all three of the stairs had been coated in worn and ragged duct tape.

There was no offer of settlement by the retail store prior to the November 2009 trial. The injured patron, who had significant medical bills and had suffered a severe injury, consistently demanded $75,000 to settle his case. The Jefferson County jury in the case returned the verdict of approximately $161,000.

Calvin A.

Calvin A., a 5-year-old shopping with his mom in a Toys R Us in Louisville, Kentucky, suffered a broken arm when merchandise fell off an upper shelf at the toy store, landing on the little boy’s arm. The store had failed to take adequate steps to shelve the merchandise in a manner such that it would not fall off and injure any of the patrons. The case was settled with the insurance company for the Jefferson County, Kentucky toy store without the necessity of a lawsuit being filed.

Theresa M.

Theresa M., a guest at a mall located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, was shopping with her young 8-year-old son who had cerebral palsy. While she was walking through the mall, she fell on some partially dried vomit in a common area of the mall located in Clark County, Indiana.

As a result of the fall, the client suffered a herniated disk in her back and ultimately required back surgery, after which she had to use a cane for four months to walk. She continued even after the surgery to have back and leg pain. The client filed the lawsuit in Clark County, Indiana, against the mall alleging that they had failed to properly monitor and clean the mall floors and surrounding areas. In fact, a mall cleaning policy was found during the litigation that established that the mall had a policy that all of the floors in the mall were to be cleaned every nine minutes, and the injured patron was able to establish this had not happened. The case settled several months before the trial was scheduled to begin in Clark County, Indiana, with the insurance company for the mall paying the settlement.

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