On behalf of Mike Clancy
When you go to a hardware store, there is a natural inclination to be aware of falling objects, heavy objects that can fall from pallets, and materials that can spill onto floors (such as fertilizer or paint). In light of the many hazards that can befall a shopper, it is highly unlikely that wild animal attacks are considered.
Nevertheless, this is what allegedly happened to a shopper at a Home Depot in Longview, Texas. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, a woman was allegedly attacked and bitten by a bat. The woman claims that the bat bit her when she picked up a cinder block.
As a matter of law, retailers have a duty to take make sure that the premises are free from hazards that could injure a patron. Essentially, they must take reasonable steps to clean up spills, create signs warning customers of dangerous materials, and keeping the store free of unnecessary hazards (such as rodents, cockroaches and other pests).
The woman’s premises liability suit accuses Home Depot of failing to warn her of the potential hazard created by bats making homes in the spaces created by stacks of cinder blocks. She also claims that the retailer knew about bat infestations prior to her being bit. She seeks damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and court costs.
While animal attacks are highly unusual in Chicago area hardware stores, customers can be hurt by other hazards. If you have questions about your legal rights after being hurt in a store, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Source: setexasrecord.com, Suit claim woman bitten by bat at Home Depot, September 6, 2013