A Georgia Payless store was the site of a tragic death over the past weekend when a two year old girl died after an unsecured full-length mirror fell on top of her. Ifrah Siddique was at the Riverside, Georgia store while her parents shopped for some new shoes for her when the mirror came crashing down on her.
The Washington Post provides some more details on the department store death noting that Ifrah, "had massive internal bleeding and had lost a lot of blood by the time paramedics arrived. She died a short time later at a nearby hospital."
While there is no denying that this tragic death was absolutely avoidable, it begs the question of where the blame falls-- on the parents to watch that their daughter fully or on the store to make sure items are secure or a little bit of both. More details are needed to properly determine where the appropriate amount of fault lies but the parents certainly have a strong wrongful death case against the store given the nature of the death. Here's some of the potential arguments to be made:
- Safety first: stores should not just be safe for all their patrons, young and old but they are required to be safe. No, Payless is not required to necessarily "babysit" children but they should not set up things in their store that could be deadly either. Premises liability is the legal theory that most of these types of personal injury and wrongful death cases rest on.
- Known hazard: An unsecured mirror may be common or may have been mistakenly loose but either way, this is a fairly obvious safety hazard to have a mirror large and heavy enough to kill a child loose like this. Furthermore, this is a store that is frequented by kids as their parents shop for them so extra attention to a visible safety issue like this will be a hard argument for Payless to try to defeat.
Wrongful death lawsuits can do a lot of things for a grieving family. For starters, they can help ease the financial burden of the loss they have suffered, including medical bills (in this came the ambulance ride and the time in the hospital) and burial and funeral costs. They can also help provide compensation for the tremendous emotional loss that comes with an avoidable death at any age. And finally they can help impact a positive change. Often a wrongful death lawsuit (especially one that has received publicity like this) can impact a positive change in the behavior of an individual or a company. Here, it can inspire (or mandate) Payless to look at the security and safety of their stores, starting with their standing mirrors. Our heats go out to this family and any family dealing with the avoidable loss of a loved one. If this is your situation and you want to learn more about how a wrongful death lawsuit can help, do not hesitate to give us a call or fill out our contact us form today.