Police dogs were brought into a Boca Raton Party City store this January to search for survivors after seven aisles of shelving collapsed. Luckily, there was no one buried under the debris, but three people did suffer minor injuries in the incident, which happened as the Powerline Road store was opening at on the morning of January 12. According to a worker who was in the shop at the time, the shelves began to fall with no warning, cascading and knocking down everything in their path. Witnesses said the falling shelves and merchandise created a long, loud, thunderous noise.
Palm Beach County firefighters assisted with the rescue effort, searching the building for victims in the debris and even using thermal imaging cameras to scan the scene for people. It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse, although a retaining wall may have been the first structure to give way.
Liability for injuries in stores
This incident underscores the fact that store owners have a duty to keep conditions reasonably safe for shoppers. Patrons who are hurt while on the premises of a store or other business are often able to recover compensation through a type of lawsuit known as a premises liability case. The premises owner has a duty under Florida law to warn of any dangers they know about or should know about, which visitors would not likely notice on their own.
While no one was seriously hurt in this collapse, those who are seriously injured in a store may be able to collect compensation for their medical expenses, their pain and their lost time at work. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident or incident caused by the negligence of a property owner, speak with the experienced Manatee County premises liability lawyers at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn about your options.