Zevan Davidson Roman Law Firm Articles Store Owners Responsibility For the Actions of Their Distributors

Store Owners Responsibility For the Actions of Their Distributors

Jul. 1, 2014 1:59p

Vendors and distributors are in and out of businesses all day long. They are responsible for providing the business with the goods needed to operate. There are instances when their actions may put patrons at a risk for injury. In this case, who should be held responsible? If you were hurt at a store by the actions of one of its distributors, ask a personal injury attorney for advice on how to proceed with receiving compensation for your damages.

You see them all of the time, but probably pay little attention. A distributor brings the products to the store. Some of them may use a back entrance and storage area, while others, especially beverage distributors, will stock their goods themselves. If they do this in such a way that it poses a risk to the patrons, the store owner has an obligation to address the problem as soon as possible. Yet Missouri law provides the property owner reasonable time to be made aware of a risk, so if they do not know that a pile of pallets for example is stacked too high, they may claim ignorance as their defense.

You can place the distributor as the negligent party, even though he is not the owner of the property. In a Missouri grocery store for example, a customer slipped on water left over after a distributor had unloaded his frozen products. She suffered knee injuries and sought compensation from the distributing company. The grocery store was found blameless since there was no way for them to have known of the potential risk in such a short period of time. The distributing company ended up settling the case for $102,500.

All premises liability cases are not the same and it is best if you first get advice from a St. Louis personal injury attorney when considering filing a lawsuit. When the accident occurs in a business such as a grocery store, there will be the need to investigate who was responsible for the accident, and were they negligent. If the business owner does everything in his power to eliminate risk then he might not be named in a suit. Instead, your attorney may think that the claim should be filed against the 3rd party.

The same holds true for accidents that occur in some ones home. The homeowner should provide a risk free environment for their guests, but if they are not aware of it, they shouldn't be held liable for it. This is seen a lot with construction accidents where a person is injured as a result of poor construction and there is no feasible way the property owner could have been aware of it.

In order for a premises liability lawsuit to be successful, it is important that the right defendant be named. Otherwise you are setting yourself up against a good defense. A personal injury attorney will do the investigative work for you to make sure that the right party is brought to justice for your injury.

Contact the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200 for a free case evaluation.

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