If I was at at a store and all they had available were defective shopping carts and my child was hurt, what can I do?

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If I was at at a store and all they had available were defective shopping carts and my child was hurt, what can I do?

They all had the child safety restraints cut off and the flip down seats that covered the metal bars were all missing. I chose the best cart I could and made sure I held on to my 1year old daughter the while time to prevent her from falling out. While we were in line checking out, she started screaming. I looked down and she had wrenched her leg underneath her and had gotten her leg stock between the bars of the seat (this wouldn’t have happened of the plastic seat had not been broken) it bruised her pretty badly. She was very stuck. It was pretty devastating for her when we pulled her out. Is this something I could sure over?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding store’s potential liability for injuries to your child.  Your scenario, as described, would likely be categorized as a negligence action.  There are four elements to negligence actions.  The first element is that a person has a duty to you.  Secondly, an individual breached their duty to you.  Thirdly, the breach caused you injury.  Lastly, you have sustained measurable damages due to someone’s breach of their duty. 

In your case, one would need to define the store’s duty to protect you and your child from harm.  Even though the store had shopping carts that needed repair, you stated that you noticed the damages before placing your child in the cart.  In a lawsuit, the store may utilize the defense that you assumed the harm, because even after noticing the danger, you continued with your actions.  The store might also state that you had other options such as notifying a manager, or even not using any of their carts and shopping at a different store. 

However, each negligence action is different and if your child has been getting treatment for injuries sustained while you were at the store, then you may want to pursue a claim.  If you do wish to go forward with a lawsuit, you many find it helpful to contact a personal injury attorney in your area that can provide you with guidance regarding your claim.  The personal injury attorney will explain to you what to expect in a personal injury action and also assess the probability of being compensated for this injury.

 


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