Negligence and premises liability: when a store display falls on customer
Simplicity is not the norm when it comes to holiday displays in stores! The displays are elaborate, bright and big. It is a fun time of year as we enjoy the holiday cheer and each other's company. With increased traffic in stores and more inventory, there is an increase in negligence and premises liability cases arising in stores at this time of year. Adding to the increase in premises liability cases is an increase in slip and fall cases as the weather brings more snow and rain to the region.
An action for personal injuries resulting from a store display that falls on a customer could be plead as negligence and/or premises liability. A negligence action would be based on the defendant's negligence in causing the injuries and notice of a defect is irrelevant. However, notice of the condition is relevant in premises liability. Under Illinois law, premises liability plaintiff must prove, among other things, that the "landowner knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known of both the condition and the risk the condition posed to others lawfully on the property. Therefore, if a display, such as a mirror, or a large snowman, menorah or Santa Claus display falls on a customer, and the landowner knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have know that the condition posed a risk, the landowner could be responsible for the customer's injuries. Of course this is true for any object that falls on a person, not just holiday decor!
If you or a loved on are involved in a situation where you are injured as a result of an object falling on you at a store, contact our premises liability attorneys today for a consultation. We are looking forward to speaking with you regarding your case and taking the next steps to secure a settlement on your behalf.