Falling Merchandise Causes Permanent Injuries

Retail Safety Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Texas and involves a woman who was shopping at a grocery store and was severely injured by a falling display of  boxes. The stack of boxes was located on a pallet, and not properly stacked or secured on a shelf. When the woman reached to pick up boxes of the product, the display fell on her head and caused significant injuries which will require lifetime care. This case required an expert on store displays, proper method of operation, and premises liability.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have experience with supermarket / retail safety and displays?
  • 2. Do you have experience as a manger of grocery store / retail operation?
  • 3. What makes you qualified to serve as an expert on this case?
  • 4. Do you have experience as an expert witness on a similar matter to the above?
  • 5. Are you familiar with customer accidents from displays similar to the above?

Expert Witness Response E-008287

I have over 35 years of experience managing supermarkets and other retail stores. There are specific operational procedures to ensure the safety of the consumer that were clearly ignored in this case, as obviously this sort of situation should not be able to occur. I can speak to guidelines and can speak from an operational perspective as to way displays should be built and proper precautions. With this type of display, shoppers should not be able to threaten the stability of the display in the course of selecting items. I have reviewed a number of supermarket safety cases of a similar nature in the past.

Expert Witness Response E-008527

Expert-ID: E-008527

This case is right in my area of expertise. I was Division Safety Manager for a supermarket chain with 136 stores in our division. I have 33 years in the retail supermarket business. I have 7 years experience as a Store Manager and 9 years as a Regional Manager. I have have reviewed 2 prior supermarket suits. This case appears to be a straightforward matter of negligence on the part of the store. It should not be possible for a customer to cause a collapse of this nature in the ordinary course of shopping. It is likely that the display was inherrently unstable, and that it was an accident waiting to happen.


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