The 2011 Holiday shopping kicked off last Friday, November 25. This annual Black Friday event hosted by retailers and small businesses across the country resulted in record sales. According to the National Retail Foundation, a record number of 226 million shoppers hit stores and retailer websites over the Black Friday weekend in order to obtain bargains on big ticket merchandise. Unfortunately, there were reported acts of violence which occurred on the premises of local retailers throughout the country, causing serious personal injuries to consumers and raising concerns of premise liability.
According to CBSMiami.com, a 55-year-old North Carolina woman was shot in the foot during a robbery which occurred at 1:00 a.m. while in a parking lot located across from a local Walmart store. Locally, Kissimee Police arrested a man after he became involved in a fight at a local Walmart jewelry counter. We all enjoy a good deal, especially during these hard economic times, but inflicting serious injury or bodily harm upon another in an attempt to obtain on sale merchandise just isn't acceptable. Not only is it a criminal offense to commit an act of assault or battery upon another without legal justification, but could also be the basis of a civil suit against the perpetrator, and a premise liability lawsuit for the retailer.
Miami personal injury attorneys assist individuals who have been injured upon the premises of retailers and small businesses. Premise liability covers a broad range of accidents, injuries and harms involving situations such as slip and fall, inadequate maintenance, inadequate security or defective conditions. Premise liability claims often result when the business owner or possessor of property breach the duty of care owed to its business invitees, for example customers. In order for the courts to impose liability, however, ordinarily there must be some form of relationship between the business owner or land possessor with the injured party.
Customers of retailers such as Walmart, Target and other small or national retailers are usually considered business invitees because they visit the premises in order to make purchases for products or merchandise the business sells, and which normally confer a monetary benefit upon the business owner. Also, courts have imposed liability upon a landowner or occupier due to their failure to protect their customers from foreseeable injuries inflicted by third parties. Recently, a court upheld the fine imposed upon Walmart as a result of a 2008 Black Friday incident that resulted in the death of a shopper who was trampled during a stampede. This year, the giant retailer opened its doors to eager shoppers on Thanksgiving night in some communities throughout the nation.
As we move closer to the Christmas holiday, we can expect that retail stores will become flooded with shoppers as they rush to purchase last minute gifts for family and friends. While shopping and if you experience a slip and fall accident, or become injured as a result of a third party, you should contact a Miami personal injury lawyer who practices premise liability law and negligence. Since every premise liability cause of action will depend upon the circumstances, a personal injury lawyer can determine whether or not you have a legal claim.
See Our Related Blog Posts: