The warehouse store format has been a great invention for retail business. It allows stores to stack many tons of merchandise on skids above the aisles.
You see this format in Walmarts, Home Depots, grocery stores, even liquor stores and clothing outlets. Many big box stores use this format.
Sometimes, however, these tall towers of merchandise come tumbling down, and workers and customers take the brunt.
When you are injured because shelves collapse, or because merchandise falls off the shelf, the injuries are serious. Broken limbs, serious lacerations, head and brain injuries, even paralysis and death have been outcomes from these incidents.
One elderly Home Depot customer was killed instantly when a forklift collided with a steel shelf structure. A TV fell from a Walmart shelf and killed a 2-year-old girl. A bookcase fell in a Sam’s Club and killed a 3-year-old boy.
One of the focuses at The Law Offices of Mark E. Weinberger is obtaining compensation for injuries involving falls – when people fall, as from ladders or scaffolds and when things fall on people, as in these warehouse store accidents.
Falling merchandise is not an act of God situation. It tends to fall for a very human reason. Inadequate shelving may be the cause. Sometimes material is stacked improperly and it slides. Employees may not be trained to keep customers at a distance during loading and unloading.
If the injury results from an obvious act of negligence, compensation is in order. If workers are injured, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If a third party led to the collapse, that party may be subject to a lawsuit.
Stores don’t want these accidents to occur, but it is still their duty to take steps to prevent them. When you have been hurt, or have lost a loved one to a collapsing store shelf, the law is on your side.