Parents across Australia are calling for a review at a number of popular store chains after numerous injuries have occurred recently, causing permanent eye damage to children. The culprit is common metal hooks used in retail clothing and accessory display racks, usually held at children’s head heights. Recent instances of trips, falls and collisions in stores have caused a number of public liability accidents around the nation.
Background of the national situation
This has become relatively common at a number of big chain stores, including Target and Kmart. For instance, in mid-2019, a five-year-old collided with a hook in Sydney while shopping and required emergency reconstructive surgery, wherein he nearly lost his eye. During this incident, not only was the boy injured, but his mother fainted from the stress.
A number of other parents have come forward with similar stories. This includes a family on holiday on the Gold Coast who stopped into a chemist, where a metal accessory stand fell on their 18-month-old daughter. A metal hook on this display pierced into her eye socket and lodged 1 millimetre away from her brain. She required two surgeries and a CT scan.
Certain store chains, like Target, have announced that they have stopped using similar metal hooks, because of the danger to children and high risk of injury. These specific hooks, also called blouse arms, are very common in the retail industry.
Do victims have cause for filing a claim?
Victims of accidents that happen due to someone else’s negligence in a public place may be able to file public liability claims for compensation. These individuals, for instance, may be able to file such claims on behalf of their children to recover damages incurred for pain and suffering, and any medical expenses incurred. If adults were hurt in similar accidents, they may be able to claim for possible lost wages and financial support.
If these hooks were uncovered, as was the case in several of the accidents, the retail store might have breached its duty of care to its patrons.
This is also true if victims were hurt by hooks if they had a collision after a slip and fall. These are common occurrences in the public liability realm and can result in compensation in some cases if negligence was present or if an organisation breached their duty of care.
If you find yourself in need of help while filing a public liability claim, don’t hesitate to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers as soon as possible.