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CBS Baltimore Report on Toddler Killed by Falling Mirror at Shoe Store

Posted on: July 24, 2018

A major US shoe store chain offered its condolences to the family of a toddler who was killed when a mirror at one of its locations fell on top of her. CBS Baltimore affiliate WJZ News Channel 13 reported on the March 2, 2018 incident, stating that the company had launched an investigation to help them understand how the accident occurred. Local police mentioned that the little girl was with her family shopping for new shoes in the moments before the mirror fell. Officials found her severely injured at the scene and transported her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A family spokesperson noted that the 2-year-old girl died of complications resulting from internal bleeding, and she lost a substantial amount of blood due to her fatal injuries.

Businesses that open their doors to the public have a duty to keep the property safe from dangerous conditions that could cause injuries. However, proving your right to compensation in a Maryland premises liability case requires more than showing a breach of duty. While you should always discuss the details of your situation with an experienced Baltimore County, MD personal injury attorney, an overview of premises liability laws may be helpful.


Elements of a Premises Liability Claim

A personal injury case based upon negligence requires the victim to prove certain facts to recover compensation from the party responsible for causing the injury. In the context of a premises liability case, the elements are:

The property owner, manager, or tenant had a duty to keep the premises safe for certain members of the public who may enter. The extent of this duty depends upon the circumstances in a premises liability case, but it generally involves whether the responsible party:

  • Knew about a dangerous condition;
  • Should have known of a hazard through reasonable inspection; or,
  • Had sufficient time to correct the safety risk.

The responsible party breached this duty, leading to the existence of hazardous conditions on the property. The breach is typically through an act or omission, such as:

  • Failure to make repairs to a known danger;
  • Conducting repairs in a careless manner, increasing the hazardous nature of the condition;
  • Failure to inspect the premises to assess the presence of safety risks; or,
  • Failure to post signs or warnings about potential dangers.

The breach was a direct cause of the victim’s injuries, such that the victim would not have been hurt if it was not for the responsible party’s actions.

The victim suffered losses as a result of his or her injuries.


Special Considerations in Maryland Premises Liability Cases

Beyond the general elements, there are some specific factors that may affect a victim’s claims.

The Status of the Victim: Under Maryland law, only licensees or guests may recover compensation for their injuries. A guest is someone whom the property owner would invite onto the premises with permission and for the mutual benefit of both parties. Examples include a shopper at a store, a diner at a restaurant, or a patron at a hair salon. A licensee is someone who is present upon the property due to the implied consent of the owner, such as a US mail personnel or a delivery person.

When the victim is a trespasser upon property, there is no right to recover compensation under Maryland premises liability law. The owner of the property does not have a duty to protect a person who has no legal right to be there.

Contributory Negligence: The actions of the victim while present upon the property are also a factor in a premises liability case, regardless of status as licensee or guest. Maryland follows a harsh rule termed “contributory negligence,” which acts as a complete bar to compensation when the victim’s careless conduct contributed to his or her injuries. Therefore, the responsible party may raise a defense when:

  • The victim made use of the property’s physical features in a negligent manner, such as by sliding down stair rails, climbing on shelving,
  • The victim ignored a sign marking a hazardous condition; or,
  • The victim entered into a closed off area of the premises.

Many states follow the law of comparative negligence, where the percentage of negligence attributable to the victim will reduce the amount of his or her compensation. Maryland’s contributory negligence law is an all-or-nothing concept: ANY amount of negligence on behalf of the victim will prevent recovery.


Damages Available for Injuries in a Premises Liability Case

There are two types of damages an injured victim may recover through a premises liability claim:

  • Economic Damages, which are the readily ascertainable losses that stem from an injury and are often out-of-pocket. They include medical costs related to treatment, including emergency, urgent, rehabilitative, and long-term care; and lost wages, if the victim was unable to work due to the injuries.
  • Non-Economic Damages, referring to the subjective losses a victim sustains. Examples would be pain and suffering, loss of personal relationships, loss of future income and business opportunities, and others.


Wrongful Death Cases Based Upon Premises Liability

In the case of the toddler killed by the falling mirror, there are two claims under Maryland law:

  • Wrongful Death, which is a case that the victim’s surviving loved ones bring to recover for the emotional losses they suffer due to his or her death. Only individuals designated by law can file a wrongful claim, including a spouse, parent, and children of the victim.
  • Survival Action is the claim the victim would file if he or she had been injured instead of killed, so it is similar to a personal injury case. The personal representative for the victim’s estate would sue for the economic and non-economic damages mentioned above.

Trust a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer with a Maryland Premises Liability Case

If you were hurt or a loved one was killed due to a property owner’s negligence, please contact the law office of Bob Katz to schedule a free initial consultation. One of our attorneys can review your circumstances and explain your options under Maryland’s premises liability laws.


Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Brittany Peterson
Brittany Peterson
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Had a very awesome experience fast settlements... Communication was a A+ ...Strongly recommend Mr.Katz. !!! Ms. Robin made me felt like family was always there when i needed her and when i had a question.
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Yarnell Goodwin
23:38 15 Nov 18
Got a little more settlement money than expected. Was provided great service and prompt responses. I greatly appreciate it!
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Ashley Poole
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Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
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17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
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I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
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Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
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It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
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Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
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15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
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13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
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15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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