What are my legal rights if I am injured shopping on Black Friday?

I think we all remember the scenes from last years Black Friday sales scuffles as consumers rushed to get the bargain of a lifetime.

The police were called to several incidents as retailers opened their door to utter mayhem and near riots.

And there were some serious incidents – one woman from Manchester was seriously hurt when she was hit by a falling television, in another Manchester incident a woman broke her wrist in the crush, and at many stores throughout the country, shoppers were pushed and trampled on, fights broke out and staff went running for their lives.

Emma Fishwick, Head of the Public Liability team at Michael Lewin Solicitors commented “Last year was a nightmare for British retailers and British consumers who were after bargains. Shoppers were biting each other, punching and kicking, massive crowds were climbing over shelving and displays to get to the products they wanted.

Everyone needs to be aware that an assault is an assault, even when the sales are on.”

Retailers are planning to spread their Black Friday sales over a longer period this year, so we do not think crowds will be as big this weekend, but retailers need to learn from previous events – crowds and scuffles are absolutely predictable, and if stores haven’t organised enough shop security and staff to help keep the peace, then they could be liable for any incidents should they happen.

We have successfully handled hundreds of negligence and premises liability claims in the past – retailers beware.  More information on is available on our Accidents in a Public Place page.

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