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Be careful around retail store shelves

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Personal injuries can occur anywhere, even in environments where they would be least expected. One of those environments is a retail store. People actually get hurt in retail stores often, as happened recently when a 15-pound circuit breaker was accidentally knocked off of a shelf and onto the head of an innocent shopper.

The shopper, reportedly left dizzy by the incident, said that it was very unexpected. Yet, thousands of people have been injured in retail stores across the last decade. Heavy objects falling from high shelves is one of the causes.

Retail employees are often pressed to stock shelves quickly by employers seeking to squeeze maximum value out of minimum wages paid to the employees. As a result, shelves wind up being stocked is such haste that care is lost, and many items may be perched precariously in ways that present dangers to shoppers.

Reaching for one thing on a shelf can result in it getting caught on other items that then all come tumbling down and cause injuries. This happened to a man who was reaching for one bundle a metal studs and got it by another bundle of them that fell off the shelf and hit him in the face.

These incidents have resulted in a plethora of lawsuits. The people who got injured have made strong cases that the retail stores should have stocked their shelves more securely and made the safety of shoppers a priority. In the meanwhile, it is important for everyone who goes into retail stores to protect themselves and their children from potential dangers. Don’t trust store staff to have done that for you, because they won’t necessarily have. Remember, safety is paramount to keep you and your loved ones free of injury and to thus avoid having to sue stores.

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.