Visitor Question

Son injured by the motorized belt in the check out line?

Submitted By: Jason (St. Ann, Missouri)

My son (5) reached for a toy when we were at the check out line at the store, and the belt was turned on and pinched his arm. The injury was 8 inches of black, blue and purple. He screamed and I thought it just must have scared him. But upon looking, the pinched area turned black, blue and purple immediately.

The checker was still asking for money to finish the transaction. The store manager was called and a young lady came up and offered a wet napkin stating no cold packs or ice were on site! She then returned with another man who finished the report and stated that I could not have a copy of the report, and that corporate will contact me.

Meanwhile I was sitting there with a 5 year old screaming at the top of his lungs “it hurts!!” I put my cold soda that I purchased on it and we were basically told to wait for someone to call. I was also asked if I was going to take him to the doctor! I said if the symptoms are worsened I would.

I later went up and took a pic of the report just to have one. The store was real weird about the whole thing. How far should I pursue this injury, if I should at all, and what is the likely outcome? Also, why was the manager so coy there is surveillance camera, and I have a witness?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Jason,

When dealing with personal injuries in the State of Missouri, it is important to consider the statutory (law) rule of Pure Comparative Fault. Under Missouri’s Pure Comparative Fault Statute, a victim’s compensation from an at-fault or negligent party will be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s own comparative negligence.

In this case, if it is determined you were negligent in failing to properly supervise your son, or that your son’s actions were negligent, the amount of compensation, if any, would be reduced proportionately.

For example, suppose the plaintiff in a personal injury claim proves medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages (called”Damages”) in the amount of $100,000. If the jury finds the defendant was 80% at fault for causing the injury, and the plaintiff was 20%, the plaintiff could recover $80,000 from the defendant. If the defendant is found only 30% at fault and the plaintiff 70%, then the plaintiff could still recover $30,000.

At this point, and based on the facts, it is difficult to know if the store owner was negligent in failing to take actions to keep persons, especially children, out of harm’s way. If it is shown that the store owner was negligent, then he or she may be liable for your child’s medical bills, your lost wages (if you had to take off time from work to care for your son), and for your son’s pain and suffering.

Get more information on Missouri Comparative Fault here.

Learn more here: Retail Store Injury Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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