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  1. #1
    Techdude is offline Junior Member
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    Injury from motorized shopping cart

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Maryland

    My girlfriend was injured in a supermarket when she was hit by a motorized shopping cart. In addition to medical bills not covered by her own health insurance, she continues to have pain and discomfort form the accident. The supermarket said they are not liable and canít help, and the person who was driving the cart is unable to help with the bills.

    I would think that the owner of the supermarket property would have insurance to cover these types of accidents.

    What can my girlfriend do at this point? It happened about a year ago.
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    She can attempt to sue the person who hit her in small claims court.
  3. #3
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Note, unless her injuries are slight, she will eat up small claims limit in a hurry. She will not only need to sue for the stuff NOT paid by her medical insurance but also for the stuff they did pay, as they may make a claim on that settlement.
  4. #4
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    I would think that the owner of the supermarket property would have insurance to cover these types of accidents.
    The owner of the supermarket does have insurance to cover things which are the supermarket's fault.

    How is this the supermarket's fault?
  5. #5
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Your girlfriend need to consult with a personal injury lawyer ASAP

    She really should not have waited so long.

    Just beacuse the store said "Sorry, we are not laible" DOES NOT mean they are not liable.

    That is just what they said.

    I can think of several ways the store could have significant liability, and just about anybody can too
  6. #6
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I think it is far more likely that the negligent cart-operator has homeowners or renters insurance that could cover a claim. I am curious how anyone could think the store is liable for the negligent actions of a customer. They might not have even owned the cart.
  7. #7
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I think it is far more likely that the negligent cart-operator has homeowners or renters insurance that could cover a claim. I am curious how anyone could think the store is liable for the negligent actions of a customer. They might not have even owned the cart.
    this is presuming it was a store provided cart:

    the store provided the cart
    the store did not provide adequate training for a person to use the cart
    the store did not ensure the user of the cart was able to safely use the cart

    The store should be included in any suit. The judge can release them if s/he feels there is no liability.
  8. #8
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    It may not be a slam-dunk for the store. At least in Florida, a summary judgment for a store was reversed. Kimball v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., 901 So.2d 293.

    [url=http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15145781322849159945&q=901+So.2d+293&hl=en&as_sdt=40000002]901 So.2d 293 - Google Scholar[/url]
  9. #9
    Techdude is offline Junior Member
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    My friend said a "little old lady on kidney dialysis" ran into her shoulder with the cart while she was bending over to pick up an item. Now she has pain when she lays on that side too long. My friend said she doesn't want to sue the driver of the motorized cart.

    The store provides the carts to their customers, and it happened on their property. It seems the owner of the property and the owner, not the driver, of the cart should be responsible.

    If I loan my car out to someone and they have an accident, I'm responsible.

    Thanks for your comments.
  10. #10
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    If I loan my car out to someone and they have an accident, I'm responsible.
    It's complex, but no.

    The store provides the carts to their customers, and it happened on their property. It seems the owner of the property and the owner, not the driver, of the cart should be responsible.
    Clearly, no. Maybe, if they did something wrong, but I don't think because of vicarious liability.

    My friend said she doesn't want to sue the driver of the motorized cart.
    Then she may not be compensated for her loss. While there are always issues as to ability to pay, suing the person responsible for damage is usually the best bet.
  11. #11
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    First of all, the laws for cars are different then the laws for other kinds of accidents. And it's not 100% certain that you would be liable if you lent the car to a friend who then hit someone. But even if you were, your friend would ALSO be liable, since that would be the person who ACTUALLY CAUSED the accident.

    In this case, the store MAY be liable. The driver of the cart is DEFINITELY liable. And if she's a little old lady, there's a good chance she has insurance to protect her. If your friend is going to sue, she needs to sue both the store AND the person who actually ran into her.
  12. #12
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    . My friend said she doesn't want to sue the driver of the motorized cart.
    then she might as well not bother with anything. The person operating the cart is the one that ran into your friend so primary responsibility is with the operator.

    The store provides the carts to their customers, and it happened on their property. It seems the owner of the property and the owner, not the driver, of the cart should be responsible.
    there could be some shared liability but in itself it does not put the liability on the store and it surely does not release the operator of their liability.

    If I loan my car out to someone and they have an accident, I'm responsible.
    it is possible you would have some liability but again, the primary liability is with the operator. You would generally only have liability if you acted with disregard for the ability of the operator to safely drive the vehicle; e.g. the person was obviously drunk and you still gave them permission to drive; they were blind and you still gave them permission to drive; you were aware the driver is simply a terrible driver and has the driving record to support it

    the store may have some liability. The operator would have primary liability. So, what you do is sue both. I suspect if your friend goes after the store alone, they aren't going to get anything or at best, a small percentage of the amount sought as the operator would bear the greatest percentage of liability and as such, the store would be charged with paying only the percentage they are found liable.
  13. #13
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Also, even if the store did pay from its insurance, if they did not do anything wrong (Well, even if they did, but not 100% at fault.), the insurance company would talk with the driver of the cart and try to collect from her under subrogation.

    The driver is involved. The driver would be a necessary party in any lawsuit. The driver would be responsible even if the store's insurance paid.

    The store may be too, but the driver is for sure.

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