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Falling Merchandise Accidents

North Carolina Attorneys Prosecute Falling Merchandise Accidents

Holding retail stores accountable for negligence that injures customers

Retailers have a duty to make their stores reasonably safe for the public. However, many outlets cram so much merchandise precariously on the shelves that they create hazards for their customers. If you’ve been injured by falling merchandise in a retail store or supermarket, you may be eligible for compensation. For more than 25 years, Lanier Law Group, P.A. has fought aggressively for injured clients throughout North Carolina. From our offices in Raleigh, Wilmington, Durham, Greensboro, Asheville, Burlington, Fayetteville, Greenville, Winston-Salem, Jamestown and Charlotte, we investigate retail accidents throughout the state. If a negligent act created unnecessary danger, we hold businesses accountable for the harm that results.

The retailer’s duty of reasonable care in North Carolina

Businesses that serve the public have a duty to discover hidden hazards and correct them. If there is a spill in an aisle, a store must take prompt steps to alert customers of the danger and then clean it up, or the store may face liability for any foreseeable harm that results. If the spill is not addressed within a reasonable time and a customer slips and falls, the store may have to compensate the customer for any injuries.

Now consider the poorly stocked shelf. Boxes are piled high, one upon another. The stacks are not stable. When a customer touches one box, the entire pile moves. If a customer touches one pile, another pile moves. These high shelves are above eye level, so most customers cannot get a clear view of the danger in touching one object or the other. Now, has the store created a hazard, or is it the customer’s fault when his handling of the merchandise causes it to fall? There have been many cases litigated across the country giving courts guidance on how to judge certain facts:

  • In a case against Walmart, the court held that the way objects were stacked could cause them to fall.
  • In a case against Giant Supermarkets, the court held that because cans fell from a shelf without the plaintiff or any other customer touching them, the shelf presented an unreasonable risk.
  • In a case against Kmart, the court ruled that there was a serious question of whether a reasonably prudent merchant would have stacked cans on a shelf above eye level without securing them.
  • In a case against the A&P, the court ruled that a jury could find that stacking jars on a shelf above eye level presented an unwarranted risk of harm.

Stores often argue that when other customers move merchandise, this creates an intervening cause that absolves the store from liability. But courts routinely reject that argument.

Injury cases involving falling merchandise are very fact specific and generally turn on the condition of the shelf in question. Our firm has dedicated attorneys who know how to investigate and assemble the evidence to make a persuasive case. With a heavyweight in your corner, you may greatly improve your chances of winning the compensation you deserve.

Contact our North Carolina law firm for your premises liability case

Lanier Law Group, P.A. fights to hold retailers accountable for injuries to customers caused by negligence. To discuss your retail store accident with an experienced personal injury lawyer, schedule a free consultation. Call us in Raleigh, Wilmington, Durham, Greensboro, Asheville, Burlington, Fayetteville, Greenville, Winston-Salem, Jamestown or Charlotte at 855-234-7619 or contact us online.   

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Our Office Locations

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    Raleigh, NC
    207 W. Millbrook Road, Suite 215
    Raleigh, NC 27609
    • 1.(919) 848-2000 Tel
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    Charlotte, NC
    10130 Mallard Creek Road, Suite 110
    Charlotte, NC 28262
    • 1.(704) 341-5558 Tel
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    Jamestown, NC
    4915 Piedmont Pkwy., Suite 104
    Jamestown, NC 27282
    • 1.(336) 855-8554 Tel
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    Greensboro, NC
    222 S. Swing Road, Suite 6
    Greensboro, NC 27409
    • 1.(336) 855-8554 Tel
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    Winston-Salem, NC
    250 Executive Park Boulevard, Suite 107
    Winston-Salem, NC 27103
    • 1.(336) 760-9996 Tel
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    Durham, NC
    1816 Front Street, Suite 320
    Durham, NC 27705
    • 1.(919) 682-2111 Tel
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    Greenville, NC
    108 W. Firetower Road, Suite H
    Greenville, NC 28590
    • 1.(252) 757-7777 Tel
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    Burlington, NC
    2630 Ramada Road
    Burlington, NC 27215
    • 1.(336) 506-1041 Tel
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    Fayetteville, NC
    2929 Breezewood Ave, Suite 203
    Fayetteville, NC 28303
    • 1.(910) 484-3333 Tel
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    Asheville, NC
    603 Biltmore Ave
    Asheville, NC 28801
    • 1.(828) 412-3503 Tel
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    Wilmington, NC
    1213 Culbreth Drive, Suite 120
    Wilmington, NC 28405
    • 1.(910) 256-4445 Tel
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