Unwary customers were buried by piles of shelves and merchandise after overstocked shelves collapsed in a 99 Cent Store located in the Bronx. The avalanche of shelves and merchandise buried eight victims, including several children, at the Morris Avenue discount store.
One shelf fell and then a series of adjacent shelves and the merchandise on them cascaded down on top of the unsuspecting shoppers. Reportedly, all victims were removed from the rubble by concerned citizens and firefighters and then rushed to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. Seven of the victims were seriously injured and remain hospitalized.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this shelf collapse. They deserved better than this when they elected to go shopping that morning. The question that looms for the victims and their loved ones is how could something like this happen? Shoppers at the store are claiming that the shelves are dangerously overstocked. One valiant shopper that helped rescue one of the victims claimed “They have too much merchandise on the shelves.” Another woman, Lucy Tirado, watched her husband laying there helplessly with a broken leg, undoubtedly wondering how this could have been avoided.
There are industry-wide regulations for what is an acceptable amount of material to be stacked on a shelf and the manner in which it is stacked. A sound investigation will likely reveal that this store made critical mistakes in two areas:
- The amount of merchandise stacked on their shelves was dangerous.
- The way the merchandise was stacked was unreasonable.
Stores usually prioritize profit over everything else. They are motivated to place as much merchandise on display as possible so they can sell more. Often, they ignore the ramifications of this. Over stacking shelves can place enormous stress on the shelves and lead to a dangerous accident. However, profit is the priority rather than safety and that is why something like this can happen. Similarly, stacking merchandise in a way that is most attractive to the consumer, leading to greater revenue, is often at odds with the safe method of stacking merchandise. A thorough, experienced attorney will be able to assist these victims in obtaining justice by conducting a detailed investigation.
Block O’Toole & Murphy has been fighting on behalf of victims for decades. The Serious Personal Injury Lawyers from Block O’Toole & Murphy have recovered more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients, including many consumer victims. To learn more about the firm, you can review the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, you may contact them at 212.736.5300.