It is certainly not something you see every day, but there are reports that a 72-year-old woman has driven her car through the rear service doors of a Target. This accident is not without injury, too. Two Target customers were shopping in the electronics section when the car came barreling through and were hurt and taken to the hospital. A 29-year-old woman was admitted in critical condition after being struck on the head.
Had this accident happened in Albany, it is likely that the woman and the 56-year-old man who sustained an injured him would be able to hold the Target store partially responsible for the accident. Even thought it was the driver that drove through the doors and into the store, it is still a store's responsibility to protect its customers from foreseeable injury. Because the service doors were directly across from a T-intersection, it is conceivable that the store should have realized it was possible for an inattentive motorist to drive through the doors.
The driver's son says that he believes his mother had hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. If this is true, it may help explain why her car not only went through a pair of metal doors, but also 50 to 60 feet into the store to hit an electronics display. Police are trying to determine if the woman had been driving while impaired, as well.
The likelihood of this accident happening in Albany is rare, but that does not mean that stores should not be held responsible when their customers are injured. It is important to remember that while a car may not drive into a store all that often, slip and fall accidents and other dangerous premises incidents are not that unusual. You can learn more about the kinds of premises liability issues we have worked on in the past by visiting our website.
Source: New York Daily News, "California woman, 72, slams her car through the rear service door of a Target store, injuring herself and two customers," Charlie Wells, Oct. 27, 2012