With the introduction of the "superstore" warehouse in the 1980s and 1990s, the practice of stacking heavy products on high shelves has resulted in countless consumer injuries caused by falling merchandise. Personal injury lawsuits involving such accidents are being filed with increasing frequency. Investigators report that thousands have been injured or killed by falling merchandise since the megastore's inception.
Customers of Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Toys 'R Us, and other similar enterprises enjoy little Federal regulatory protection from falling merchandise. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will only inspect a store if an employee is injured. Consumer watchdog groups are demanding the introduction of safety nets and rail systems to prevent merchandise-related accidents.
Statistics indicate that most accidents occur between October and January, when additional merchandise is stacked in anticipation of the holiday rush. Home Depot reportedly receives nearly 200 falling merchandise complaints a week. A spokesperson for Wal-Mart revealed recently that 17,000 falling merchandise cases were filed against the company between 1989 and 1994. In a notable case, last year a NASA astronaut filed suit against Home Depot seeking $15 million in damages after a sixty-eight pound drill-press fell from a shelf, injuring his head, back, and shoulders.
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Slip & Fall Injuries
Slip & Fall Frequently Asked Questions
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