Does the grocery store have a duty to secure its buggies?

Early on law students are exposed to the concept of “reasonably foreseeable.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out in a case recently filed in Orleans Parish by a woman who was in an automobile accident she alleges was caused by a stray shopping cart. The plaintiff contends that the grocery store failed to make appropriate security measures which resulted in the basket rolling off the parking lot and onto the highway where she was driving. Doubtless, the issue will arise whether Winn-Dixie knew or should have known that its baskets were a substantial factor in causing an unreasonable risk of harm. In this case, whether it should have known the basket could ultimately end up in the highway, and whether it could have prevented the accident had it exercised reasonable care.

Whether or not Winn-Dixie has such a duty is not an ironclad rule. Although, theoretically our civil law system has a code which we rely upon in instances of tortious infractions, the outcome will be heavily fact intensive. What measures were taken to avoid the situation, by both the plaintiff and the defendant? Did Winn-Dixie have actual knowledge that its baskets were exiting the property (either intentionally or negligently)? The answer will have to be decided by a judge summarily, or perhaps even by twelve jurors. The result is guaranteed to be interesting.

DnD

In Jefferson Parish suit resident alleges she was injured at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Recently reported by the Louisiana Record, Bed Bath & Beyond is being sued by a customer who was alleges she was injured while shopping at a store when boxes fell on her head. The article also gives details that the New Orleans based law firm is representing the plaintiff in the 24th Judicial District Court of Jefferson Parish before the Honorable Judge Ross LeDart. Given the conservative reputation of the venue I’d rather be on the defense side of this case. The articles also notes that the plaintiff is seeking an”unspecified” amount of damages, which is the standard form of a Louisiana pleading which doesn’t allow for a monetary amount to be included but rather a “prayer” for damages which are “reasonable under the circumstances.” ┬áThis leaves open the possibility for the defense to file a removal action to federal court, which is another standard practice, and what I would do if I were defending the case. In any event, this is just the inception of the case and anything could happen in time.