“Dangerous” cart corrals

September 1, 2009
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Menard’s has funny-looking and somewhat impractical cart corrals that are also apparently unsafe and dangerous. Just ask Gerald Roberts of McCreary County, Ky.

He was visiting a Menard’s in Lafayette, Ind., and decided to “travel through” the cart corral, hitting a horizontal metal bar at the opposite end of the corral. He hurt himself in 2007 and now he’s suing the store and the maker of the corral.

The suit is pretty scant on details, but apparently, he’s walked through these cart corrals before and never injured himself. Here’s a picture of what these corrals usually look like.

According to the suit filed in federal court yesterday, Roberts suffered great bodily injury and pain, hurt his head and neck, and has severe and permanent emotional harm. His wife is also suing for loss of love, support, and companionship.

Why would you walk through one of these cart corrals in the first place? I’ve been to Menard’s enough to see they are usually full of ill-configured shopping carts and large carts for wood and supplies to make it like an obstacle course to try to get from one side to the other.

Instead of a)not walking through the cart corral, b) paying attention to your surroundings, or c) taking responsibility for your own negligence, Roberts feels like it’s Menard’s and the manufacturer’s fault he hurt himself. What severe and permanent emotional harm has he suffered? Embarrassment that he whacked himself on a cart corral at a hardware store when he wasn’t paying attention?

I’m not trying to make light of this guy’s injuries (whatever they may be as they aren’t detailed in the suit), but it’s not like the wind picked up this improperly grounded cart corral and struck him or it suddenly collapsed on him. He walked through it and somehow injured himself. But apparently, that’s not his fault because the corral has an “unreasonably dangerous design” and has “inadequate warnings.”

I wonder if the next time I’m at Menard’s I’ll see a “STOP: DO NOT ENTER” or “DO NOT WALK THROUGH” attached to these corrals.
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  • Good thing he survived or we would have had to include in the Darwin award entries, and he might have won. The Darwin award for doing society the biggest favor by taking himself out of the gene pool.

    In fairness I guess anything is possible, but most likely this is just another perfect example of why our society has so little respect for the legal profession.
  • In all actuality, someone that rides their motorcycle through the property of any business, regardless of the purpose or placement of such property, has no reason to complain that a horizontal strcutural support clothes-lined him on his way through.

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