Bargain Shoppers Kill 3 and Injure Dozens

In China, shoppers trampled three people to death and injured at least 31 in the rush to by discounted rapeseed oil. The deaths occurred after shoppers waited since 4 am at the door of the Carrefour in Chongqing city. The store is run by a French company.

In the United States, such injuries were once difficult to litigate in torts. However, negligence rules now govern such cases and even injuries by customers to third parties can be the basis for a lawsuit against the store. While criminal acts and intentional torts often cut off causation in such cases, courts have allowed recovery for the foreseeable acts of customers. In Weirum v. RKO, a disk jockey encouraged listeners to find him in his moving van to recover concert tickets. Teenagers speeding to the announced location caused an accident. The third party successfully sued the radio station on the grounds that it was foreseeable that teenagers would react in such a way. Stores are liable for not taking reasonable measures to deal with the foreseeable rush of customers at sales and to have adequate security on location. Controlling the number of individuals entering is often the best solution, but stores will often allow a rush after moving display cases and widening aisles to deal with the expected numbers of customers.
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