Retail Display Causes Eye Injury

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on June 30, 2017

Retail Safety Expert WitnessThis case takes place in New York and involves a child that was injured while at a large clothing store. The child was at the store with his mother at the time of the incident. A display rack with packages of socks contained display prongs that were protruding horizontally toward the customer aisle. At some point, the child accidentally turned into one the display prongs and, as a result, suffered injuries to his eye. It is alleged that the store failed to take the proper steps and procedures to prevent accidents, and this event could have been prevented.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What kind of steps and protocols do stores take to ensure customer safety?
  • 2. Given your experience, how often do these accidents occur?

Expert Witness Response E-004539

I would like to review this case. I have experience with retail store litigation and display design/safety. I have worked on cases that involve injury caused by protruding hooks over the industry standard for the zone where the hooks and other apparatus should not extend over. I worked on a case representing a retailer where a child unattended ran into a portion of a display and received a gash in the head. The liability was due to the manufacturer of the display not following specs for manufacturing. Retail stores make sure that vendor displays are in compliance with the retailers safety standards and local code standards. Retailers also have staff review the display set up to ensure they are within regulation for a safe environment. It is definitely possible that this store met all guidelines, established clear aisles, and did not disobey any industry standard for protected merchandise and display holding devices, however the child’s injuries seem to indicate that this was not the case. My skill is to assess the scene of an accident and rule as an expert with thirty plus years of designing store displays for retailers and vendors.

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