Why is it that the big savings of the notorious Black Friday sales lead to serious injuries and deaths? Are these “doorbuster” specials in fact an incitement for negligence, recklessness, and injury? This year’s Black Friday sales led to serious personal injuries, even fatal ones, across the country.
What’s worse, is that this is nothing new, but is becoming an unfortunate tradition. The actions, harms, and risks of the day are becoming so commonplace that one article by Time even goes as far as to call this year’s Black Friday “calm” since only one death resulted. A death resulting from sales and promotions is nothing calm or anything to breathe easily about. Yet, every year it seems that the biggest shopping day of the year is a time for people to weigh their risks of staying in or braving the risk of grave injury while doing their holiday shopping.
People should not have to fear for their lives when leaving the house to purchase new sweaters or toaster ovens for the holiday season, but somehow that has become the case. This year, the sales encroached into the Thanksgiving holiday, and so did the doorbuster fights and assaults, simultaneously to when some families were still giving thanks around the table and enjoying their holiday turkey.
Busting the door for sales means also losing sleep. Not everyone who tries to beat the clock for these sales exercises caution or is well rested. According to Time, the death that occurred was the result of a car accident. A teenage driver fell asleep at the wheel after shopping with friends during the early morning of Black Friday.
ABC News reports several other incidents of violence. In Las Vegas, a shopper was walking down the street with his TV he had just purchased when a nearby passerby shot him. At a Virginia Walmart, one man was stabbed during an argument over a parking spot. . At a Chicago area Kohl’s store, an attempted shoplifter fled from the store to his car and trapped a police officer’s arms in the car. The man took off while the officer was still caught in the door, which prompted the police to fire shots at the vehicle. Both the shoplifter and the officer were sent to the hospital, according to The Washington Times.
Sadly, counting the Black Friday injuries and death toll is becoming a game of sorts for some. According to ABC News, a few hours after Black Friday shopping sales began, Twitter saw #WalmartFights begin trending. This specific hashtag encouraged individuals to post photos and videos of people becoming violent at Walmart. Several photos included bloody noses, paramedics wheeling stretchers, and women hitting one another on the head. Footage also included security personnel wrestling shoppers to the ground. Twitter was not the only site tracking injuries and deaths. In the past few years, BlackFridayDeathCount.com was initiated to track injuries and death from the shopping day violence.
However, our Chicago attorneys understand that violence on what is supposed to be a fun shopping day is no joke. When retailers choose to open their doors early and entice shoppers with great deals, they must also consider what they must do to protect Black Friday shoppers. They are obligated to provide a safe shopping environment for patrons, so this means extra security to prevent pushing, shoving, or fighting, along with aisles free from debris, products that are easily accessible and will not fall off of shelves onto the patron, and other safety measures. Although this is a time for stores to make a profit, customer safety should always be a top priority, no matter how the big the sale or promotion may be. In fact, the larger the promotion, the more retailers should anticipate the excitement and hype that follows. When retailers fail to create a safe environment and patrons suffer serious injuries, victims may be able to take legal action to hold stores accountable.