Visitor Question

Store denying liability when cafe table severely cut foot?

Submitted By: Frustrated (Allen, TX)

The bottom of a table located in the cafe of a retail store was razor sharp on the footing. My daughter cut her toe on it down through the tendon. This was during the summer so she was wearing flip flops.

When she walked up to the high cafe table, she sat her plate down and sat down in in the raised cafe chair. Upon lifting her foot, the bottom edge of the table sliced down and through her foot.

The bleeding was non stop and we did everything we could to try and stop it. The store had their insurance contact us and they offered her a $50 gift card. She has been dealing with swelling and pain due to this.

We have been told by the retailer that they would not pay because it was not due to negligence. They had never had this injury occur before and the other tables did not have this same sharp edge.

So here we are with over $37,000 in medical bills later and other expenses for travel to various doctors, special shoes and garments, etc., with nothing but bills and a poor quality of life for her. She is in her early 20’s and can’t stand for long periods of time, do active things that her friends do, or is limited in her functions due to pain and swelling.

The manufacturer says they are not responsible because they are not sure if the edge of the table was sharpened by one of the cleaning machines used to clean and polish the store for the retailer.

I am truly frustrated because I wish I could find a case example that was not a slip and fall or a clothing rack falling on a person.

I need to understand why is it that they can get away with denying this injury? When I had business liability insurance it was in place to cover physical and property loss of my customers. Is there nothing I can do? Thanks for any information you can give.

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 Frustrated,

At this point you really don’t have a choice. From the facts you present you appear to have done everything within reason to be compensated for your daughter’s serious injury. It seems unconscionable the store would deny her claim.

Unfortunately, when it comes to customer injuries, some businesses choose to stall or deny compensation for legitimate customer injuries.

They do so because they have substantial leverage. These businesses realize an injured customer can only go so far without legal representation. Many of these same business stall or deny legitimate claims hoping once a customer becomes frustrated enough he or she will just walk away.

This is not the case when the injured customer retains legal counsel. Unlike pro se victims who are relatively unable to pursue discovery, including depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas, and more, attorneys are able to either gain the cooperation of the business, or file a lawsuit.

Business don’t like lawsuits. They cost money in legal fees and tend to damage the business’s reputation.

You should know most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather your daughters’ medical records and bills, receipts for out of pocket expenses such as medications and crutches, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc.

Bring those records and bills to several attorneys and permit them to review your daughter’s case for free.

Learn more here: Department/Clothing Stores

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) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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