Several slip-and-fall injuries and violent attacks were reported in a number of stores in New Jersey and throughout the nation on Black Friday. These events caused potential premises liability to retail stores and injury to numerous shoppers desperate for a great retail deal. One attack involved a woman who allegedly pepper sprayed fellow Wal-Mart shoppers as she attempted to grab an Xbox game console that was on discount.

A total of ten people were involved in the attack, which did not appear to be an act of self-defense. Firefighters arrived at the scene to treat the victims but no one was hospitalized. The female suspect later turned herself in.

During an appearance on CNN, psychologist Jeff Gardere said retailers were partially to blame for the disruption, accusing them of encouraging aggravated behavior by advertising special sales. He said retailers shouldn’t use psychological scare tactics to stir people into panic-buying and social misconduct. He also added that people were being “whipped into a psychological and physical frenzy,” which is encouraged by the difficult economic times.

Other incidents were reported in New York, North and South Carolina, Florida, Connecticut and Alabama. Authorities reported gun shootings, fights and numerous other incidents during the morning of Black Friday, but there were no reported deaths. One of the most notable premises liability incidents took place in 2008, when a crowd of shoppers trampled a male Wal-Mart employee when he and his co-workers were unlocking the doors early in the morning.

If you or a family member suffered a slip and fall injury while shopping on Black Friday, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: CNN, “Violence mars Black Friday,” Nov. 25, 2011