The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently addressed the issue of a store’s legal duty to keep its customers safe.
In Reason v. Kathryn’s Korner Thrift Shop, a customer sued the store after he was attacked by another customer in the store who had a history of mental illness. The court held that stores open to the public have a duty to take reasonable precautions against the harmful conduct of other customers. A business which invites people onto its property “may reasonably expect that all might not behave”, and bears responsibility for injuries that result from failing to take reasonable precautions.
However, in this case there was no evidence to demonstrate that the store had reason to know of the attacker’s history of mental illness. The plaintiff was unable to prove that there were any prior incidents in the store or that the store personnel had any reason to suspect the attacker posed a risk in this particular case. Therefore, the plaintiff was not entitled to recover damages from the store.
This case underscores the importance of being diligent in the discovery phase of a case to fully determine the scope of liability.
Our Law Firm is experienced in handling all types of injury claims. For more information and a consultation, contact our Law Firm, Supinka & Supinka, PC.