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Couple blames Charleston shopping mall for their injuries

The holiday shopping season is coming to a close. But, many of West Virginia's shoppers may still be planning to go to shopping malls and other retail stores in the Charleston area to partake in post-Christmas or end-of-year sales. In addition, some might go to return merchandise that they bought or received as gifts during the season.

Retail businesses and property owners must be sure to keep their stores and surrounding areas safe for their customers during any time of the year. But, safety is especially important during this time of the year, which draws larger numbers of shoppers.

Recently, a husband and wife filed a legal claim against multiple defendants after the wife allegedly suffered injuries during a trip to the Charleston Town Center Mall. In their complaint, they allege that the woman was walking to her car in the mall's parking lot when she fell and hit another car and the pavement.

The lawsuit further states that the woman suffered extensive injuries due to her fall. The husband and wife allege that the defendants who owned or operated the parking garage failed to correct the dangerous property condition that caused the woman's fall. They claim that in addition to the woman's physical injuries, her husband lost income and marital consortium. They are asking for an undisclosed amount of monetary damages.

West Virginia's premises liability laws require property owners or lessees to take reasonable steps to prevent others from getting injured while on the property. Courts do not expect the landowners to be able to prevent every possible injury, but they do have to take certain precautions. In this case, for example, the garage owner or management company probably had a legal obligation to frequently check the garage for any unnecessarily dangerous conditions.

Nobody wants to get hurt while shopping for clothes, toys and other consumer goods. These accident do happen, however, and in some cases, a negligent property owner may have caused the accident.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Couple sue over alleged injuries at Charleston mall parking garage," Kyla Asbury, Dec. 16, 2013

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