Dollar Tree Stores Inc. is big business. It operates nearly 15,000 stores in the United States and Canada, and it has about 175,000 employees. It’s a Fortune 500 company, and it trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Its subsidiaries include Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada. Dollar Tree is so big that it even sells life, auto, home and health insurance. The stores that are owned by Dollar Tree are its lifeline though, and those stores are where people get hurt.

Staffing Issues at Los Angeles Dollar Trees

Dollar Tree has been characterized as an “extreme dollar store.” It claims to have excellent buyers and have “great control over the tremendous buying power at the dollar price-point.” Like its competitors, to control operating expenses, it might also be characterized as being understaffed.

The Merchant’s Duty

What distinguishes Dollar Tree from its competitors is that its stores are managed fairly well. That fact helps to reduce claims and lawsuits by customers who allege that they were injured by a dangerous condition on the retail premises. California law imposes a duty on the operators of businesses to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for customers. If a hazardous condition presents itself, the merchant’s manager or employees must remedy it and warn customers of the condition until such time as it is attended to. No matter how well-trained that the staff of a business might be, if the business is understaffed, it might not be able to react responsibly when a hazardous condition is created. In Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California, hazardous conditions often arise on one of the three following ways:

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  • Liquids or substances are spilled on floors and cause slip-and-falls.
  • Merchandise racks, displays, merchandise and uneven floor surfaces cause trip-and-falls.
  • Merchandise that is stacked vertically and falls down onto customers from high above them.

Breach of the Merchant’s Duty

If a merchant knew or should have known of a condition on its premises that was hazardous to its customers and failed to timely or properly remedy the hazard, liability could attach for the damages that a customer suffered from it. Those damages might consist of the following:

  • Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future.
  • Past lost earnings and earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future.
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of a normal life.
  • Other damages in the event of a wrongful death.

Lawsuits Are Being Filed

Recently, a Texas woman sued Dollar Tree after she slipped and fell from a “brownish foreign substance” at a Texas City Dollar Tree. That case remains pending. In late 2018, Dollar Tree was sued by a man in Orleans Louisiana Parrish District Court after he slipped and fell from a substance on the floor. That case is also pending. In 2017, a Florida woman slipped and fell in a Dollar Tree store, and she incurred more than $17,000 in medical expenses. Future medical expenses were expected to be in the $100,000 range. That case was removed to federal court, and it remains pending there.

What to Do After the Accident

You must report your accident to Dollar Tree personnel immediately.

Then, seek medical attention. If you believe that an ambulance is necessary, ask Dollar Tree to call one. Try to gather as much information as possible about the precise location of the fall and the names and contact information for any witnesses. If taking photos is possible, take them.
Insist on management taking a written report of the accident, and get a copy of it.
If Dollar Tree contacts you later, refuse to give any type of a statement. No law of any state requires you to do that without an attorney being present on your behalf.
What could be incredibly important is saving the clothes and shoes that you were wearing when you fell. Don’t wash anything. Place everything in a storage bag, and keep it all in a safe place.

Then, call us for a free consultation.