Black (Eye) Friday

Black (Eye) Friday

We’ve all seen the news reports. Stories of crazed consumers pummeling each other in the name of a bargain. Sometimes overzealous security guards get in on the action, too. It seems these Black Friday fights now mark the beginning of the holiday season.

The day after Thanksgiving has become known as the day that retailers move from being “in the red” to being “in the black.” According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Holiday Survival Kit, 2014 saw more than 87 million shoppers on Black Friday, with the average shopper spending about $404 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday). That’s a lot of bottled up competitive spirit and potentially frayed tempers.

This year, Black Friday falls on November 27, and while saving money is a good thing, it’s not worth the price of your health.

Injuries have occurred when an impatient crowd started pushing and people were trampled. In fact, one person was killed and four others were injured in a 2008 Black Friday stampede at a Wal-Mart in Long Island, New York. Incidents can occur before shoppers even get in line – a man in western Virginia was stabbed in a 2013 Black Friday-related fight over a parking spot. Internet videos abound of shoppers in Moultrie, Georgia, elbowing their way to items while pushing, shoving, grabbing, screaming, and even biting – all while employees stand by helplessly.

Law enforcement sometimes make things worse rather than better. A police officer at a Kohl’s store outside of Chicago shot a would-be shoplifter who fled in his car. An off-duty cop in North Carolina used pepper spray on customers clashing over discounted cell phones. In Lithonia, Georgia, a man who had allegedly shoplifted two DVD players was chased down by two employees and a security guard and put in a chokehold. When police arrived, they found the man bloodied and unresponsive. He later died at the hospital.

Retailers have an obligation to keep their premises in a safe condition, free from known hazards that might cause harm to shoppers, and may be legally responsible for injuries that occur on their property.

Depending on the circumstances, this can include injuries that happen due to poor planning, crowd mismanagement, inadequate security, slip and fall, failure to warn of dangerous conditions, and falling merchandise, among other things.

If you are in the unfortunate position of being a victim of a shopping accident or incident, the Macon, GA-based Mann Law Firm can help. We have successfully represented clients throughout Georgia who have been seriously hurt by other people’s negligent actions. For over 50 years, we have been helping people put their lives back on track. For advice on how to proceed next, or if you have any questions about this topic, call (478) 742-3381 or submit our online form. And please, enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving!