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When Mannequins Attack, and Other Clothing Store Injuries

Close up woman holding shopping bag with colorful walking in the city with copyspace
By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

We've all been there, strolling Men's Warehouse, shopping for a tuxedo, when a mannequin suddenly leaps of a display, knocking you to the ground, causing a concussion. But according to Melinda Scalzo's lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania last week, this wasn't some random attack.

This particular mannequin was overloaded with unwanted tuxedo jackets, and the store failed "to ensure that display mannequins were anchored to a base or other surface such that they could not fall over on top of customers." Now Scalzo and her husband are suing the store for unspecified damages.

Mannequin Mayhem

"She has endured and may continue to endure pain, suffering, inconvenience, embarrassment, mental anguish and emotional and psychological trauma," the lawsuit, naming Tailored Brands, Inc. and The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. as defendants, claims. Weight from tuxedo jackets placed on a mannequin allegedly caused it to fall on her while she was shopping in April 2018, causing ongoing head and vision injuries.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Scalzo "suffered a concussion, chronic post-traumatic migraine headaches, cognitive impairment, dizziness, sleep difficulty and other health issues resulting from the crash," according to court filings, and "needed surgery to repair her vision and the incident exacerbated mental health disorders." And her husband, Justin, is apparently a co-plaintiff, claiming loss of consortium with his wife. Men's Wearhouse has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Retail Risk

Any manner of injury, from your basic slip-and-fall, to your off the wall mannequin attack, can happen in a retail store. And retailers, large and small, can be held liable for injuries that occur on their premises. If you've suffered a shopping injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claims under premises liability laws, which require store owners to exercise reasonable care to ensure a store's premises are reasonably safe from hidden dangers or hazardous conditions.

To prove a retail store is legally responsible for your injuries, you generally need to prove:

  • The store owner knew (or should have known) about a dangerous condition on their property;
  • The owner did not regularly inspect the store for dangers, or provide adequate maintenance;
  • That you wouldn't have been injured if there was not a dangerous condition on the property;
  • There was a relation between the dangerous condition and your injury; and
  • That you suffered actual "damages" as a result of it.

Premises liability lawsuits can be complicated. For help with your injury claim, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.

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