Categorized | Opinion

Black Friday is a legal nightmare

By David Peel

As an injury lawyer, I am concerned that some large retailers conduct so-called “Black Friday” sales that are sure to cause serious injuries, without proper planning or security, in their haste to grab profits in this horrible economy.

A large part of legal liability is whether or not the danger is foreseeable.  That is the ability to see beforehand what might happen. They are certainly on notice of the dangers.

For instance, in 2008 there was a tragic Long Island Walmart incident where an employee was actually trampled to death in the “greed stampede.”

There have been incidents of other injuries and deaths. Women have miscarried after being roughed up.  Criminals are out as well.  Shoppers have been hit, beaten, stabbed, pepper-sprayed and even shot.

In a Target, a man once collapsed with an apparent heart problem, but no one helped him. They reportedly stepped over him in their rush to save a few bucks.  He later died.

Normal injuries that we see at shopping centers only increase with traffic and crowds. Crowded aisles will not be cleaned from spills promptly, and signs will be non-existent, knocked down or invisible due to throngs of crazed shoppers. Merchandise knocked down will create trip hazards as eyes search the higher shelves for the just right gift for little Johnny.

Pedestrian injuries, especially among children, in the still dark parking lots are to be expected. These often result in tragic “hit and run” accidents as the self-absorbed negligent driver flees the scene.  In those cases, the parents’ Uninsured Motorists coverage will cover the injured child up to the amount of their policy.

It is hard to understand why people brave such madness year after year to try to save a few bucks when many of the retailers offer the same deals online with free shipping.  I would rather shop at my computer and leave all that hustle and bustle to those with more time and patience than the Lord granted to me.

Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.

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December 2012
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