Visitor Question

Stepped on a Sensor Pin in a Clothing Store…

Submitted 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.

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 Keli,

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.

Learn more here: Clothing 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,


One comment on “Stepped on a Sensor Pin in a Clothing Store…

  1. Nyota says:

    I was at a Burlington clothes store. While looking through a clothes rack, I got stuck with a sensor pin on my thumb. It bled very little. There wasn’t a person there to do an incident report. I left my name and number and took the sensor with me for evidence.

    I went to the emergency room, but the doctor said I should see my private doctor to get tested. He said it’s unlikely I caught anything since I had a tetanus shot three years ago.

    I left the emergency room, and will be going to my doctor. My finger is sore. My concern is catching HIV or hepatitis.

    Do you think I have a case? The sensor was on a pair or jeans with the bare pin sticking out.

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