Chapter 5: Miscellaneous Tort Claims

Chapter 5 of my manual entitled Don’t Get Sued! A Guide to Help Reduce Your Business’s Exposure to Lawsuits deals with miscellaneous tort claims and reads as follows:

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to inspect the premises of your business; not just to check off a report, but I mean inspect with a very critical eye. While looking around your business, keep in mind that almost anything can be a hazard. Some examples of miscellaneous claims that I have had experience with should help illustrate my point.

When you look around your store, inside or outside, how is the lighting? Are you able to see the display cases? Is it reasonably foreseeable that a business invitee might bump into it? Whether the premises are properly lit is subjective. But there are things that you can do to help protect yourself. Make sure the highest wattage bulbs are used and that the light fixtures themselves are spaced close together. If someone falls because they trip over something they didn’t see, rest assured that an experienced personal injury attorney will get a lighting expert out to your store pronto to check for proper wattage and the location of lights.

Another claim that I have handled which pertains to a lot of businesses is injury due to a puncture by those inventory control devices that you usually see attached to clothing. When they are removed by the clerk ringing up the sale, be certain that there are solid procedures in place for what should be done with that sharp pin which is left uncapped. Think about it, that pin is a claim waiting to happen. If the patron is injured, there’s a negligence claim. If an employee is injured is injured, there’s a worker’s compensation claim (see Chapter 6).