Our Michigan premises liability lawyers represent clients who are injured by merchandise and tiles that fall on them in stores, restaurants, businesses, and rental properties. The injuries from these accidents are often severe, including closed head injuries and even death. Our award-winning law firm can help you win a settlement if you were stuck by a falling item and suffered serious harm.
Falling Merchandise Accidents in Big Box Retail Stores
Thousands of serious injuries to customers who have been hit by falling merchandise have been reported at big box retail stores throughout the United States over the last few years. The innocent customer is unexpectedly hit by an item that fell from a high shelf above that was not safely stored by the retailer.
The largest big-box retailers in Michigan are Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Kohls, Meijer, and Target. Many supermarkets and drug stores, like Walgreens and CVS, also stack merchandise high above the aisles in the stores. This practice poses serious potential harm to the public, and especially children and senior citizens who are shopping in the stores.
- Negligence by the store and its staff is really the only reason for merchandise to fall and injurer a customer. There are many reasons why an item might fall from a shelf, but the most common are:
- High stacking above the floor, which requires a worker to use a ladder or actually climb up to bring an item down for a consumer. On some occasions, the customer must actually climb up to get the merchandise. The weight of these items when stacked high can fall and cause major injury.
- Items not properly secured when stacked on the shelving units. They can come loose and fall on a person standing below with no protection from injury.
- Merchandise and items not being properly stacked on a shelf. This can cause them to move, come loose, and fall on a person in the aisleway.
- Lack of warning to the consumer that a high stacked piece of merchandise is loose and unstable above them. Most customers have no idea of the potential harm of injury and were not warned.
- Poorly trained staff who are not taught how to properly stack items on the shelf
- Failure of store managers and staff to inspect the merchandise on a regular basis to make sure that items will not fall and cause serious injuries to customers.
A few years ago, a 38-year-old Michigan died when a large pallet of ceramic tiles fell off a storage shelf unit at a big-box retailer. He was shopping with his wife when an item struck his head and caused fatal injuries. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by his wife and family
Our firm won a jury verdict in the Oakland County Circuit Court a few years back for a woman hit by a falling shelf in a retail store. She suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the incident. The jury awarded her significant damages due to the negligence of the store employees for not securing the shelf.
Falling Ceilings and Ceiling Tile Injury Accidents
Tiles that are not properly secured to the ceiling or are poorly maintained often fall and strike a person standing just beneath. Negligent maintenance and the failure to inspect the safety and security of the tiles is also a major reason for these incidents. Like falling merchandise and pallets, many of these tiles are very heavy and just a few feet fall can cause very serious injury and harm.
Our injury lawyers have handles many of these cases over the last several decades. A few examples of these include a woman suffering a fractured hand from a falling tile at a restaurant and a young man hit in the head by a falling piece of ceiling plaster in a grocery store. We won great settlements for both clients.
Legal Liability for Falling Merchandise and Ceiling Tiles
Under Michigan law, the property owner or business owner has a duty to provide reasonably safe place of business for its customers. The property owner is liable for injuries resulting from unsafe conditions on the property, including falling items and tiles. The injured person must prove either that the property owner caused the unsafe condition or knew, or should have known, of the unsafe condition.
It is important to report the injury incident to the store manager or property owner immediately after the accident. If you are requested, make a written report with important information about the accident. If possible, you should take pictures as well with a smartphone camera. These things will all provide important evidence to support a legal claim filed at a later date.
Should I Speak with an Insurance Adjuster without a Lawyer?
The insurance company for the property owner may have an adjuster contact you to take a statement before you meet with a lawyer. The adjuster is trained to get you to say things that may later ruin your case. Speaking to an adjuster before you hire a lawyer is a mistake for that reason. We strongly suggest that you contact our personal injury law firm before you speak to any insurance adjusters.
Can I Sue if I was hit by Falling Merchandise?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit and sue the property owner, business, or store for injuries you suffer from items that fall from above. These lawsuits seek settlements for your pain and suffering, disability, psychological injuries, and medical expenses. For cases involving death, the family members can hire a lawyer to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
There is no limit to the amount of compensation you can receive and every case has its own unique settlement value. Our experienced lawyers will review your case, gather all the evidence, and work hard to get you the highest possible settlement.
How Long Do I Have to File My Lawsuit?
In general, there is a three-year deadline, called the “statute of limitations,” in Michigan to file a negligence lawsuit. The period can be extended if the injured person is a minor. It is important to contact our attorneys as soon as possible after the accident so we can start our investigation and make sure that your case is filed in a timely manner.
Premises Liability Settlement Example
A shopper filed a premises liability lawsuit against a large retain store after two large boxes fell from a high shelf onto her while she was in an aisle. The lawsuit alleged the store was negligent because the boxes were not safely placed on the shelf. She claimed serious and permanent injuries from the incident, including complex regional pain syndrome.
The store claimed that the shopper or her daughter caused the items to fall from the shelf and it was not at fault for the incident. Prior to a jury trial, the plaintiff agreed to a $1,000,000 settlement.
Best Michigan Falling Merchandise Injury Lawyers
You can afford to have our great team of lawyers on your side. When you choose us, it literally costs nothing to get started. We promise you in writing that there will be no legal fees whatsoever unless you win a settlement and we pay all of the case costs and expenses.
Call us now. We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have a claim, we will start working on your case immediately.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626