A Business’ Obligation to Keep Its Customers Safe

Under the theory of premises liability, business owners have an obligation to ensure that the customers they invite into their stores are kept reasonably safe. In fact, customers of a commercial enterprise are known as “invitees” under the law and enjoy the highest level of protection. This means that businesses must use reasonable care to ensure that their business is reasonably safe. Included in this duty is the requirement that business owners warn customers of any potential hidden dangers on the premises, such as spills, holes, or uneven pavement.

Shopping CartsIn order for an injured party to hold a business liable for a “hidden danger,” the accident victim must establish that the business owner had knowledge of the danger to begin with. This can be proven through evidence showing that the business had actual knowledge of the danger, or evidence showing that the business should have known about the danger, given the surrounding facts. A recent lawsuit filed by an Ohio woman who was injured while at the supermarket shows how this can play out in real life.

A Woman Is Struck by a Motorized Grocery Cart

Earlier this month, a jury returned a $1.3 million verdict in favor of a woman who was seriously injured at the defendant’s grocery store after she was struck by a motorized grocery cart being operated by another customer. According to an industry news source reporting on the case, the 71-year-old woman was struck by the cart and tossed approximately four feet, where she struck her head on a shelf.

As a result of the accident, the woman sustained serious injuries to her head and neck. She filed a premises liability lawsuit against the supermarket chain, alleging that it allowed customers to use potentially dangerous motorized grocery carts without providing the customers with adequate instructions on how to operate the carts. The woman also presented evidence in the form of internal corporate documents showing that there had been 119 similar accidents involving motorized grocery carts. This, she argued, showed that the company knew there was a danger but still failed to take any action.

The jury’s $1.3 million verdict consisted of approximately $125,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $1.2 million in punitive damages.

Have You Been Injured on Another Party’s Property?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured while on another party’s property – residential or commercial – you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled Virginia personal injury attorneys at Charles B. Roberts & Associates have ample experience bringing cases against negligent corporations and business owners. With their experience behind you and your case, you can rest assured that everything is being done to further your interests with no corners being cut. Call 703-491-7070 to set up a free consultation and case evaluation today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the recovery you deserve.

See More Blog Posts:

Good Samaritan Laws and How They Can Affect a Personal Injury Lawsuit, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, September 20, 2016.

What Happens When an Insurance Company Acts in Bad Faith and Refuses to Settle a Case?, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, October 12, 2016.