TJ Maxx customer shoots herself in the foot. Everyone in the store should sue her and TJ Maxx

If you sued you could get the max for the minimum!

OPELIKA, Alabama. — A shopper at a TJ Maxx in east Alabama shot herself in the foot when her gun accidentally discharged, police said.

The gunfire happened when she dropped the gun Monday afternoon in the TJ Maxx at the Tiger Town shopping center in Opelika, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.

The 55-year-old woman was taken to a hospital. No other injuries were reported.

AP Via Fox 13,

According to the story, only the woman was injured. If I was in the store when this happened, even if I wasn’t physically injured, I would sue. And I would win because TJ Maxx failed to take the simple step of putting up a sign saying no guns in the store. Here’s my logic:

The store has a duty of care to shoppers. By allowing people with guns to enter as customers, they are taking on a certain level of responsibility to protect them. If they fail, and someone is injured while in the store, the company can be held liable. How liable they are depends on the steps they did or, or didn’t take, to keep customers safe.

In Premise security law if a store had the option to do something reasonable to protect customers from injury–like put up a sign saying, “CAUTION WET FLOOR” “CONCEALED HANDGUN PROHIBITED but didn’t, and someone is injured by a concealed handgun, the company takes on a greater percentage of the responsibility for the injury to person who is hurt. And that translates to more financial compensation.

A judge could look at this case and say, “This is 80% the woman’s fault and 20% the stores. The woman doesn’t have to carry insurance, and likely has none, but TJ Maxx hast to carry insurance. It’s typically $5 million for each store.

What people don’t know is that cases like this happen all the time.

“Since January 1, 2021, 45 people have been injured in Alabama’s as a result of an accident discharge of a firearm, According to the Gun Violence Archive, 9 were women.”

In fact, Walmart has a special insurance/ legal team that settles cases where people were injured by negligently discharged guns. Walmart keeps a lid on the size and number of the cash settlements following in-store incidents. The settlements are all sealed. The media aren’t going to do follow ups. By the way, the injuries don’t have to be only physical. PTSD is a real thing. There is also the option to sue for endangerment.

Nowhere in the story was if mentioned if she had a concealed carry license. Concealed carry in Alabama requires a license. Open Carry doesn’t and is legal in Alabama. If she didn’t have a CCL she would be charged, that increases HER liability, but as I noted, she doesn’t have to carry insurance. However if she has a CCL, and the store permits concealed guns in the store, then the lawyer suing the company can say.

“If TJ Maxx had banned guns in the store by putting up signs, the shooter could have been a law abiding citizen and left her gun in the car and my client never would have been injured.”

If you want to more detail about this issue, read my 2016 piece:

Three reasons why customers shouldn’t carry guns in stores: accidents, escalation and liability

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