Target is a popular Minnesota-based big-box corporation. It is hard to throw a stone in suburbia today without hitting a Target. We have all been to one. With busy stores across the country, Target has an obligation to provide its consumers with a safe shopping experience, including well-maintained shopping facilities and carrying safely designed and manufactured products.
Target faces a lot of lawsuits. If you are claiming more than $75,000 and you are not in Minnesota, you can expect Target, in many cases, to remove the case to federal court.
Lawyers, if you are bringing a claim, remember that these big retailers have zillions of pages of procedures, and they don’t train their $12-an-hour employees to the point where they know these procedures.
One more thing to keep in mind: ask for the surveillance film early in the case. These days, these stores have cameras everywhere.
Slip and Fall Claims
Most of the personal injury lawsuits against Target that have gone to trial are slip-and-fall cases. In this claim, plaintiffs generally allege that they fell because either (1) Target created a condition that caused them to fall (usually the best facts for plaintiffs), or (2) Target knew or should have known of a hazard that might cause someone to fall and did not do enough (usually nothing) to prevent the hazard.
There are a lot of very high verdicts in slip-and-fall cases like this. But these cases can sometimes be challenging, too, because a plaintiff’s lawyer has to show that the fall was due to the negligence of Target. The mere fact that the person fell is not enough to bring a viable claim.
From looking at recorded jury verdicts, it is easy to form the impression that Target looks to settle these cases if there is a real chance of a jury awarding a significant award.
Sample Slip and Fall Verdicts
If you look at the verdicts in slip-and-fall cases around the country, you see very few plaintiffs’ verdicts. What does this tell you? One interpretation is that Target is a tough competitor in personal injury cases. Another interpretation, and the one we subscribe to, is that Target simply does not let the good cases go to trial. If you read the details of some of these defense verdicts, it is pretty clear why the plaintiff lost. The good cases with Target have a good chance of reaching a settlement, and you do see a good number of reported settlements with Target (and attorneys rarely report settlements).
Here are a few of the sample verdicts and settlement amounts involving Target or that happened in one of their stores. These are not, by any stretch, representative verdicts – one way or the other – of what to expect in your potential claim.
- 2019, California, Settlement of $56,260. This is a product liability lawsuit. A 3-year-old boy’s penis became caught in a potty-training device sold by Target. He suffered a penile laceration and a corpus cavernosum injury. The boy’s injuries left him with permanent erectile dysfunction. His parents alleged that Target knowingly sold a defective device. They also claimed Target knew that the product had injured others but failed to recall it. This case settled for $56,260. 2019, Utah, Jury Verdict of $307,903. A woman slipped and fell on a wet floor while shopping at Target. She suffered a knee ligament tear, a hip tear, and the aggravation of her bursitis. The woman claimed that Target was vicariously liable for their employee’s failure to maintain safe premises, failure to clean up the wet floor, and failure to warn of dangerous conditions. Target denied liability. A jury awarded a $307,903 verdict.
- 2018, Pennsylvania, Jury Verdict of $250,000. A woman tripped on a worn carpet near a Target’s entrance. She suffered permanent knee injuries that required a total knee replacement. The woman alleged that Target’s negligence caused her permanent injuries. She claimed Target failed to maintain safe premises, failed to adequately inspect the premises, and failed to discover the carpet’s worn condition. Target denied liability, arguing that her knee injury was degenerative and denying responsibility. The jury ruled in the woman’s favor and awarded $250,000.
- 2017, New York, Settlement of $30,000. A 4-year-old boy struck a metal clothing rack at a local Target. He suffered a facial laceration that required stitches. His parents alleged that Target failed to maintain safe premises. Target denied liability. This case settled for $10,000.
- 2017, New York, Settlement of $15,000. A 3-year-old boy slipped and fell on a Target bathroom floor, causing his head to strike a urinal’s rim. He suffered a facial laceration. His parents alleged that Target negligently left the bathroom floor in dangerous conditions. This case settled for $15,000. If you have a case like this, you have to know they are tough cases to bring. It is hard to know when the condition was created that caused the harm.
- 2017, Pennsylvania, Jury Verdict of $2,100,000. A woman slipped and fell on spilled soda on a Target’s floor. She suffered a complete hamstring rupture that required surgery. The woman also underwent a lengthy rehabilitation. She wore a body brace and required assistance with bathing and using the bathroom. The woman alleged that Target’s negligence caused her permanent injuries. She claimed they improperly cleaned the spill, created a hazardous condition, failed to properly mop the floor, and failed to cordon off the spill area. Target denied liability, arguing she should have paid attention to her surroundings. The jury ruled in the woman’s favor and awarded $2,100,000.
- 2016, California, Jury Verdict of $1,734,167. A woman tripped and fell over a ladder while shopping at Target, causing a hip fracture. Right before the incident, a Target employee negligently left it in an aisle. She underwent internal fixation surgery, which caused her to suffer avascular necrosis. The woman now needed a total hip replacement and lifelong round-the-clock care. She alleged that Target’s negligence caused her permanent injuries. The woman claimed the Target employee negligently left the ladder unattended. She also claimed Target failed to maintain safe premises. Target denied liability, arguing that the woman should have exercised due care. The jury found Target 90 percent liable and the woman 10 percent liable. They awarded $1,734,167.
- 2016, South Carolina, Jury Verdict of $4,600,000. A woman’s 8-year-old daughter found a hypodermic needle in a Target parking lot. The woman slapped it out of her daughter’s hand. However, the needle struck her right palm. The woman suffered a hand injury and emotional distress. She underwent HIV and hepatitis tests. The woman also took post-exposure prophylaxis, which made her ill and left her temporarily bedridden. She claimed Target failed to keep safe conditions. Target denied liability, arguing she could not prove that Target employees knew of the needle and failed to dispose of it.
- 2016, Florida, Jury Verdict of $280,000. A 75-year-old man slipped and fell on spilled laundry detergent on a Target’s floor. He suffered a meniscus tear that required surgery. The man claimed Target employees failed to clean the spill. He also claimed Target’s “wet look” floor
policy made it difficult to identify clear liquids on the floor. Target denied liability, arguing it did not know of the spill. The jury awarded the man $280,000.
- 2015, New Jersey, Settlement of $35,000. A boy suffered personal injuries after his bicycle’s wheel came off, causing his fall. This was the third time he rode the bike. His parents purchased the bicycle at Target. They alleged that Target negligently assembled and maintained the bicycle before selling it. This case settled for $35,000.
- 2013, Pennsylvania, Jury Verdict of $835,000. The plaintiff, a 52-year-old driver delivering rubbish containers, tripped and fell over a chunk of cement at a construction site when exiting his vehicle. The plaintiff sues the construction site’s general contractor and a demolition subcontractor working at the site. Plaintiff’s engineer testifies that Plaintiff’s position precluded him from seeing the debris while exiting his vehicle the general contractor disagrees and further claims that it is not responsible for the conditions under which Plaintiff fell as the demolition company was performing that type of work. The jury disagrees and finds the general contractor 90% at fault, with the Plaintiff only 10% comparatively negligent. (Note: this case happened in a Target; the jury found the general contractor liable.)
- 2012, Florida: Jury Verdict of $386,522. The plaintiff is shopping at Target in Deerfield Beach, Florida. She slips and falls in a puddle of bleach and sustained a C5-6 disc injury. She gets surgery, a diskectomy (no fusion) She sues Target. The jury awards $386,522 and finds Target 87% at fault and her 13% at fault. The adjusted verdict was $336,274.
- 2011, Florida: Jury Verdict of $230,802. A 48-year-old man slips on a liquid soap in a Target near St. Petersburg. He claimed a torn meniscus in both of his knees. At trial, the plaintiff argues that one of Target’s employees spilled liquid soap on the floor and failed to clean it up or warn of the potential risk of fall. (Again, these “Target employees created the risk” are the best kind of slip and fall cases.) Target argues what stores always argue: the plaintiff should have seen the spill. Target also argues, through its orthopedic expert, that the plaintiff’s damages were not as he claims because while that kind of fall can lead to a crush injury, it should not cause that type of harm to the knees’ meniscus. The jury disagrees, awarding the plaintiff $230,801.92. The jury also finds the plaintiff 10% responsible, reducing the award under Florida’s comparative negligence law to 10% to $207,721.73.
- 2011, Pennsylvania: Jury Verdict of $150,000. The plaintiff, a 25-year-old female, is walking through an aisle carrying a large box when she steps sideways to allow an older lady to pass. The edge of her box catches on a display shelf, and she trips over a bean bag chair that was left in the aisle. The plaintiff is diagnosed with chondromalacia of both knees with a recommendation for future surgery. The defendant claims she should have seen the chair when she went to pick up the box and also that they had no way of knowing who placed the chair or how long it had been there. The Jury finds the Defendant 90% at fault and the Plaintiff 10% comparatively negligent. Plaintiff is awarded $150,000 which is reduced accordingly.
Other Types of Claims Against Target
Here are some examples of the types of lawsuits that have been filed against Target:
- Excessive force from employees or security
- Negligent security
- Injuries involving Target’s cart lifts (vermaport)
Getting a Lawyer to Fight Target
Our law firm is handling Lowe’s injury cases. Our firm handles only serious injury claims. If you have been injured as the result of negligence at Target, call 800-553-8083 to speak to a lawyer or get a free online case evaluation.