As Americans start to inch out of their Thanksgiving Day turkey coma, they begin to gear up for Black Friday Sales. The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. Almost all stores come out with Doorbuster Sales with an early bird special designed to attract consumers to their stores. People stand in line for hours before the stores open in order to be the first ones to grab the bargains of the year. Black Friday has become the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.
This year will be no different. Approximately 114.6 million Americans are expected to shop Black Friday this Friday, November 29, 2019. Even though most will opt to shop online, millions will brave the crowds at actual stores. Bigger retail stores generally prepare for this shopping Armageddon tradition by hiring seasonal workers, opening their stores early and keeping the paramedics on speed dial. The sad reality is over the years, Black Friday mobs are getting rowdier, resulting in injuries and deaths.
The Truth Behind Black Friday Deaths and Injuries
Black Friday-related incidents, resulting in deaths and injuries, are not just a myth. In the last 12 years, there has been an average of 44 separate Black Friday incidents resulting in 11 deaths and 108 injuries in the United States. Most of these incidents (69 percent) occur inside retails stores, where tension runs high among shoppers fighting over limited stocked items on sale. In some years (2011), there were dozens of incidents; other years (2015), there were none.
The dramatic spike in 2011 can mostly be attributed to two in-store spraying incidents in the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart. In California, a woman sprayed other shoppers in the store over a Bratz doll in what was described as a customer-versus-customer shopping rage.
Causes of Black Friday Injuries and Death
The stereotypical Black Friday sale gone wrong includes a stampede caused by large crowds of over-eager shoppers waiting to get into the stores once they open. Other common causes include:
- Fist fights
- Car accidents – falling asleep at the wheel after a long day of shopping
Perhaps the most common Black Friday injuries and deaths are the trampling incidents. In 2006, a shopping mall in Southern California decided to drop 500 gift certificates from the ceiling, into a crowd of 2,000 shoppers. Ten people, including an elderly woman, were injured in the resulting trampling.
Shootings have also been a more common occurrence in California. In Palm Desert, two men shot each other to death after their female companions got into a bloody fistfight at a Toys “R” Us.
Retailers may be responsible for Black Friday deaths and injuries for various reasons, such as failing to provide adequate security or inducing the mayhem by advertising ridiculous sales without being equipped to handle the turnout.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Black Friday-related incident, you may have a valid personal injury claim and be entitled to monetary compensation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates have achieved over $135 million for their clients so far. For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation with one of the attorneys, call 949-727-9300.