Broken Beer Bottles Cut Foot at Grocery Store...

by Eve

On April 14th, 2012 I was in a large chain store doing my Saturday shopping. I had picked up a 12 pack of beer bottles and about $165 of other grocery items. While checking out, I was handing the clerk my boxed beer and the cardboard handle ripped, causing all 12 bottled beers to come crashing down on my left foot, which was exposed because I was wearing flip-flops that day.

Immediately, my big toe suffered a large laceration and I began to bleed. The clerk stopped and asked me if I wanted her to call somebody. At that point, I KNEW I was in for a ride! My toe was bleeding out fast and no one was coming to my aide from the store's staff. My friend who was with me went over to the hair salon, and at that point was able to get some paper towels. One of the ladies from there brought me a chair to sit in.

It was then that a nurse who was in line saw how much blood I was loosing and came to my aide. She stepped in since no one from the store was doing anything about my bleeding. She applied pressure with her bare hands and one of the store's employees asked her not to since she was not wearing gloves. The nurse replied "Too late for that now, she needs help!"

The clerk who was checking me out continued to scan my grocery items which was completely rude, then asked for payment while I was bleeding and close to passing out. My friend dug around in my purse and was able to finish my transaction. After that, the clerk ran off, crying. UNREAL!

The manager and assistant manager showed up with gloves, applied some gauze and wrapped my foot in a plastic bag. They asked me if I wanted an ambulance and at that point I said no. I just wanted to leave. The nurse had stopped the bleeding and did ALL the work, and her daughters who were with her washed off my shoes from all the blood.

Two store employees were VERY sweet and very helpful, but that was it. They did get me a wheelchair but never offered to carry my 20+ bags of groceries to my van. My friend did that plus got all 4 kids to the van as well. The sweet ladies wheeled me to my vehicle and the assistant manager came out with an accident report in hand. He said he would be in contact with me the next day, which would have been Sunday, April 15th. He did not offer me a copy of the report and I've not heard a word from the store, except from corporate who they called me today, wanting a full report of the accident.

I went to the Emergency Room where I received x-rays to see if my toe was broken and then got 8 stitches in my big toe. I also feel the beer company should be contacted about their boxes - it should have NEVER ripped like that!

My treatment by the grocery store seemed totally unreal, rude, and they should have been more prepared to deal with my situation. If it wasn't for that nurse I wouldn't have gotten any help, they were NOT going to do anything for me. They had no gloves and nothing up front to deal with my situation, and no one was in any hurry to do anything to help.

What do you think about my case?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Broken Beer Bottles Cut Foot at Grocery Store...":

Eve (Kentucky):

Thankfully the extent of your medical injuries is the 8 stitches. From the facts you present the x-rays were negative. Since you didn't mention it we'll presume you haven't had to miss any days from work.

The store certainly owes you reimbursement for your emergency room visit. It also owes for any of your out of pocket expenses such as prescription medication and over the counter medical aids.

Although there isn't any law which requires the store to pay any amount for your pain and suffering, it would seem only right they offer you some amount. Traditionally the amount of pain and suffering is determined by an extrapolation of medical bills. In your case a multiple of 3x - 4x would be appropriate.

If the store manager or owner doesn't contact you within the next week call them. At this point you don't have to be sending certified letters.

From a technical-legal standpoint your case is worth the extrapolation of your medical bills - (sometimes referred in the legal professions as "specials") and not much more.

When you speak with the store's management or owner tell them you are upset with the manner in which your injury was handled. Maybe they'll do better next time. Otherwise that's about all you can do. If you would like, write a letter to the beer company. Maybe doing so will change their boxing practice.

If the bones in your foot had been broken or you suffered permanent scarring the case would be worth more. If you aren't satisfied with the store's response you can consider filing a small claims lawsuit against them.

Although you can contact an attorney it isn't likely one will accept your case. There's just not enough there. If people were allowed to sue other people for being rude and uncaring there would be a lot of rich people out there. Unfortunately you can't.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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