Would You Like A Bruised Sternum With Your Grocery Order?

You’re pushing your cart out of the grocery store and without warning the wheels lock up. The momentum causes your body to move forward. Your chest and sternum smash into the cart’s handle bars. Your shoulders and arms feel disjointed and pain is throbbing in your back.

You scream. You curse at the cart. It’s not moving. Your car is about 100 feet away. And you have six bags of groceries that you now have to figure how to get out of the cart into your car.

Your chest, sternum, shoulders and back hurt so bad and the thought of walking back and forth from the cart to your car six times doesn’t seem like a fun option. You call for help. The store manager doesn’t seem to have any compassion whatsoever.

You ask the manager, “what would make the wheels lock up like that?”

He moves some bags around in your cart and points to the warning.

Attention Shoppers!

Our shopping carts will lock if taken beyond the parking lot perimeter.

“What perimeter?”, you’re demanding.

The store manager seems to have gone deaf, and is ignoring you.

You’re now looking around trying to figure out where the perimeter is. But wait, you were only five feet outside the grocery store exit when the cart wheels locked up.

You point and ask, “was that the perimeter?” Nothing from the manager.

You ask another question, “has this happened to others?”

Then another, “what if a person has a preexisting injury and needs the cart as a sort of a walker to balance themselves?”.

The store manager is now ignoring you.

You ask if they can call an ambulance or taxi or someone to help you. Nope, no luck.

This just happened to be your first time venturing out after spending a month recuperating from shoulder surgery, and now you’re reeling in pain again. The jolt you received from the cart abruptly stopping felt like getting hit by a Mack Truck.

Now the grocery store will argue that the reason they installed electronic perimeter locking devices on the carts is to prevent theft. And that locking the wheels after a cart has traveled beyond that perimeter is a good way to prevent the carts from being taken off property.

And those might sound like good reasons to have such devices to prevent equipment from being stolen, however as with any technology it’s how it’s used, maintained and programmed that makes a difference in how safe it is for the consumer.

  • Is the “so-called” perimeter clearly marked?
  • Is the warning clearly stated that if someone who couldn’t read could understand it?
  • Will the device warn the user if their cart is getting close to the perimeter?
  • When was the last time the devices were tested?
  • Is there an override feature that gives the user so much time before wheels are locked?
  • Is there an option for the elderly or those with a preexisting injury who need the cart for balancing?

These are just some of the questions a Personal Injury Attorney would inquire about in helping their client in a liability case against the grocery store.

From a consumer standpoint, these cases generally concern whether appropriate warnings were given to users or consumers of products. Also involved are issues with placement of warnings, appropriate content for operating equipment manuals, appropriate design requirements, necessity for inspection or testing, compliance with statutes and regulations, and determination of recall or retrofit advisability.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a faulty product and that injury occurred in Indiana, pick up the phone and call the Law Offices of David W Holub at (219)736-9700 today.

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