Settlement for Department Store Customer Who Had Shelf Fall on Her | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our North Carolina slip and fall injury law firm client suffered a shoulder separation and torn rotator cuff when a metal shelf fell on her as she shopped at a discount department store in Murfreesboro, NC.

Store managers were immediately informed about the incident, with our client telling them that the shelf was not properly secured. An eyewitness confirmed her description of what happened.

Repairing the damage to our client’s right shoulder required two surgeries. Even though the injured woman had health insurance, she incurred tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses.

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Key Legal Strategy

This case involved what attorneys call premises liability. Business owners have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of customers. When a store operator acts negligently and fails to meet that duty, an injured victim has the right to seek compensation and monetary damages. Such personal injury claims are usually described as slip and fall cases because the classic example involves a person losing his or her footing on a wet floor.

The woman who needed multiple shoulder surgeries after having the department store shelf fall on her hired our North Carolina slip and fall attorney to negotiate a settlement with the company’s in-house counsel. To prepare for the negotiations, our attorney interviewed his client’s surgeon and documented a complete description of the cause and extent of the woman’s injuries.

The store agreed to settle our client’s slip and fall claims before going to trial. The amount secured covered most of the money spent by our client’s health insurer, all of the money spent by our client and some of our client’s pain, suffering and inconvenience.

Preventable accidents at stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses injure, disable and, sadly, kill people every day. Our mission as North Carolina slip and fall attorneys is to hold negligent corporations accountable for putting customers in danger.

Court and Dates: North Carolina, 2008

Staff: Staff attorney