Stepped on a Sensor Pin in a Clothing Store...

by Keli
(Akron, OH)

I was in a clothes store yesterday in Mentor, OH. You know the sensor pins that are attached to clothes? There was one loose on the floor and when I was trying on clothes I stepped on it. It went through my foot and I had to pull it out.

I handed it to the clerk who said, "I'm sorry, I knew it was in there and forgot to get it out before I put you in that room."

She never asked me to fill out an incident report. I talked to the store's corporate office today and I filed an incident report over the phone. The women I spoke to said the clerks should have had me fill one out because it is part of their company policy and procedures.

I am going to the doctor tonight to get a tetanus shot since it's a punctured wound. I've been having a lot of pain and limping around because it hurts so bad. Could this be a lawsuit? Do you have any information that could help me? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Stepped on a Sensor Pin in a Clothing Store...":

Keli (Akron, OH):

Unless you develop a serious staff infection other debilitating injury you really don't have much of a case.

Presuming a tetanus shot and follow up visit will be the end of it, you can expect the store to reimburse you for the doctor's bill, possibly an amount for your lost wages if you had to miss work while treating or recovering from the wound, and an amount to cover any out of pocket expenses resulting from the injury (antibiotics, bandages, other required medical aids, and hospital/doctor parking fees).

The store may be generous and pay you an additional amount for your pain and suffering. Traditionally, pain and suffering is an amount measured by a multiple of your medical bills. That multiple for non-life threatening, "soft tissue" injuries can be anywhere from 1.5x to about 3x your medical bills.

In your case if the tetanus shot and possibly a follow up visit will be all that is required, ask the store for 3 times the amount of your medical bills. So if your tetanus shot and follow up visit totaled $200 dollars, you might ask for a total settlement of $600 dollars. That amount "absorbs" any lost wages or out of pocket expenses such as antibiotics or bandages.

If the store doesn't agree to pay you a multiple of three, then go down to two. 1/2 should be your minimum.

Regrettably, if the store refuses to pay much more than your medical bills, or nothing at all, your only recourse may be to file a lawsuit against them. Again presuming your injury isn't a debilitating one, think about taking advantage of your Small Claims Courts.

In the State of Ohio the jurisdictional, or "maximum amount" of money you can sue for in small claims court is $3,000 dollars.

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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