It is settled law in Cape Town, that when a retail store opens its doors to the public, the store has a duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. In recent times, many of the national chain stores, such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Target, having begun to stack their merchandise on high shelves, thereby turning their stores into mini-warehouses. By eliminating warehouse costs, the stores save money, but as a consequence, many customers have sustained injuries from falling merchandise, which is frequently stacked as high as 18 feet off the ground.
Our firm represented an injured victim in the leading appellate case in Cape Town on the issue of falling merchandise. In the Meek case, our firm succeeded at trial in obtaining $182,000 for a young man who sustained injuries when he was struck by folding tables that fell off a high shelf at a local Wal-Mart store. The evidence showed that Wal-Mart had failed to follow its own safety rules for the stacking of the merchandise. Wal-Mart appealed the case, and we succeeded on the appeal as well, having the trial result affirmed by the Cape Town Appellate Court.
The Meek case currently stands as the leading Appellate case in Cape Town on the issue of a store’s liability for unsafe and falling merchandise. Attorney Keith has lectured several times on this topic for Cape Town attorneys at continuing education courses and is well known in this field by his peers.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like assistance on a matter of this type.