This case involves an accident in a large retail store. During a store wide, weekend sale, the plaintiff was shopping with her eight-year-old daughter for a number of party items for the girl’s birthday party. While shopping, they walked past the bikes, which were jostled throughout the day due to their discounted prices. The bikes were stored on two levels of shelving, with large metallic brackets designed to keep the bikes from falling from the top shelf. The employee in charge of the sports & outdoor department had previously worked in the electronics department and was assigned there only for the sale. One of the bikes became loose and fell on the girl. The impact caused a 4-inch laceration, a concussion, and four broken ribs.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. What procedures are in place to ensure that items are properly secured in a retail store setting?
Expert Witness Response
To prevent accidents like these, it is imperative that store owners set a standard for safety training and supervision. All staff should undergo vigorous safety training and understand the dangers of each area of the floor, especially in large superstores where each department may contain vastly different types of merchandise. Before being placed in different departments, employees should be properly trained in regards to the unique safety issue. This would give them awareness while inspecting the aisles, checking and righting unsafe conditions. Also, since this case took place during a pre-planned, high traffic period of the store floor, the managers should have compensated by increasing the amount of staff on the floor and put in place a stricter schedule. I have extensive experience in the retail sector, with thirteen years of experience as the manager of a large, retail store.