Kevin M. Sullivan recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a large retailer in a case in which the plaintiff claimed the electric shopping cart provided by the store malfunctioned causing him to fall and suffer a vertebral fracture. Plaintiff alleged the cart was not equipped with a seat safety switch that would have prevented movement when the seat was unoccupied, a feature that was offered with newer cart models. The court ruled as a matter of law that the plaintiff had been unable to provide evidence that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by any defect in the cart or that the defendant retailer had any notice of such a defect. The court further agreed that the plaintiff had not proven a seat safety switch was a required safety feature and, in any case, the defendant retailer was not responsible for the cart’s design.
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