Holiday Premises Liability in Chester County, PA 

Premise Injurie’s During Holiday Season in the Chester County

Right after Thanksgiving, the shopping season kicks off. Black Friday is, as all residents of PA know, the day following Thanksgiving when stores open early with special discounts. Of course, the entire month before Christmas does see packed stores, but Black Friday is known for the crush of shoppers. 

Individuals line up outside the stores in the wee morning hours, as the “early bird gets the worm” (meaning the discounts) since these are limited in stock. People can push and shove outside the stores on the way in and, of course, tear through the aisles looking for discounted items. 

Stores, lacking some shelf space to accommodate more shoppers, can line the aisles with boxes, and because shoppers are scurrying along, many slips and falls do occur on Black Friday. Statistics have shown that since 2008, eleven individuals died while shopping on Black Friday, with dozens more being injured.  

At a Kansas Walmart, a lawsuit in 2015 resulted in Walmart being sued under Premises Liability after a trampling occurred. While most injuries are not significant, some can be, and stores can be held liable for many reasons. Quite a few of these types of issues have been documented and usually involve trampling by other customers.  

The stores can be found not responsible for negligence regarding Premises Liability as there can be extenuating circumstances where an injured person has put themselves in harm’s way either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Common sense must also rule during these situations, and becoming involved in a brawl over a product with another shopper would not necessarily fall upon the shoulders of the store. Misconduct within a store is not breaching any Duty of Care for the store and, many times, is not a case for Premises Liability civil suits. 

All civil lawsuits must have “standing,” which simply means that the overall circumstances surrounding the civil suit will lead a rational person to believe that some sort of negligence or lack of proper procedures were followed. 

Common Premises Liability Issues During the Holiday Season

Stores do have a Duty of Care but are not always guilty of Premises Liability. The most common injuries that occur on this shopping frenzy day are listed below. 

  • Trampling

This occurs when a smaller shopper gets caught up in a large group of shoppers, slips, and actually gets trampled. Other shoppers might not even notice that someone else is being trampled. 

  • Stampeding

This is exactly what the word implies. A stampede of shoppers can push one individual into a wall or a shelf and cause an injury. Stampeding can occur within a store but is common outside the store before the doors open

  • Muggings

These can happen inside or outside a store but are common when entering or exiting. Stores do have security cameras and personnel, but with a glut of shoppers, they cannot control all issues of muggings. Pickpocketing can also happen, and store owners cannot control all aspects of overcrowding outside a store on Black Friday. 

  • Slip and falls

These, of course, are the most preventable by a store. Any blockages of aisles spills on floors, wet floors, ripped carpeting, or cracks in a floor can lead to a serious slip and fall, and an attorney should be contacted right after the occurrence. 

  • Shootings

Either inside or outside a store, this is the most dangerous occurrence. While most of these incidents occur outside a store, the store can be held liable if not enough security exists, whether inside or outside the store. 

Major retailers have recently taken up more security measures at all times because of occurrences at stores. Since 2020, serious incidences in retail stores have increased by approximately 40 percent, which is quite alarming. 

Summary—Black Friday Premises Liability in Chester County, PA

There is no easy answer for retailers to make their premises entirely safe for shoppers. While most will respond with extra security inside the premises and outside, issues can still occur. Retailers count on this day to bring in quite a bit of revenue, and although some will now change their hours to reduce accidents and incidences, it can be happenstance. 

Online sales have increased since 2020, but shoppers still “pick up” many purchases from retailers rather than use delivery, so this has not made Black Friday much safer to attend at a store. 

If injured during the Black Friday “mad dash” to garner the best products at the best prices, it is wise to use caution. It is, however, wise to ensure, especially if in the Chester County, PA, area, to remember that Christian J. Hoey, ESQ, of HoeyLegal, stands ready with a free consultation.

Decades of experience by Mr. Hoey and his staff will lead to a determination of a Premises Liability case, and if a civil suit is started, Attorney Hoey has hundreds of wins under his legal belt! 

Phone calls and emails are also welcome., 610-645-5151 or 1-888-GO-HOEY1. 

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

Skip to content