Here’s another in occasional tales from Wal-Mart Purgatory. Georgia Ann Smith was shopping at a Wal-Mart store in Springfield, MO. She was looking to buy some paint. As she was walking down the aisle, a one gallon can of paint fell from a high shelf or riser. The can of paint struck Georgia Ann in the head, knocking her to the floor, and causing significant brain damage. Her family sued Wal-Mart. According to the Circuit Court of Greene County, MO, if the case had gone to trail, Smith’s family was prepared to prove that the paint can fell because Wal-Mart had improperly and dangerously stacked the can on the riser, and it probably fell due to someone on the other side of the shelves leaning against, or moving, the shelving units. Smith’s family was also prepared to show that Wal-Mart was aware of numerous other similar injuries resulting from falling merchandise caused by stacking too high over customer’s heads, and that Wal-Mart continued this practice for years even though they knew this was dangerous. They did so because it saved them money to stack merchandise rather than having to use warehouse space to store it. As a result of the injuries that Georgia Ann sustained, she is totally disabled.She was 50 years old at the time of the accident. Her medical bills came to nearly $30,000. Wal-Mart settled the case for a confidential amount.
Perhaps Wal-Mart and Home Depot should issue hard hats to customers entering their stores, and display signs that read: Danger: Hazardous Shopping Area Ahead. Each year the courts are kept busy with such “slip and fall” cases of people who have been injured, disabled, or even killed while shopping at megastores.