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Woman hurt by falling shelves sues Sears

Have you ever walked through a big department store and looked up. Many have lots of product stacked high on shelves. Experienced attorneys in Maryland and elsewhere know that when customers walk through such a property, they have a reasonable expectation that they will be able to cruise the aisles without something falling and causing them serious personal injury.

So, when an accident does happen, it's reasonable to expect that the property owner will compensate the customer for their pain. It makes good customer relations sense. It makes good public relations sense. Sadly, that's not always the way it works.

A woman in Louisiana is learning that now. She has gone to court alleging that the managers of a Sears store she was at were negligent in how they stored and displayed some steel shelving. She says three boxes, weighing a total of 270 pounds, fell on her while she was shopping about a year ago. She also claims that the store failed to warn patrons about the unsafe situation.

In response, Sears denies any wrongdoing. It accuses the woman of negligence, saying she should have seen the apparently precarious situation and taken proper caution for her own safety. Sears also sought, and won, a request to move the case to federal court. It argues that's the appropriate jurisdiction since it's a national company. The attorney for the woman is trying to get the case returned to the state level.

It's not clear what amount of damages the woman is seeking.

Source: Houma Today, "Injured customer sues Sears," Eric Heisig, Oct. 31, 2011

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