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The release of retro-style Air Jordan shoes has sparked riots in malls across the country. Hundreds of sneaker fans lined up, pushed, and shoved their way to claim a pair of the $180 sneakers. It might be only a matter of time before the shopping madness results in a mall injury lawsuit.
After all, the shoes did inspire a frenzied dash. There were long lines and instances of violence. In one California mall, a shopper pulled out a gun and fired a round into the air.
The violence wasn't just there. Police in Seattle used pepper spray on shoppers who were pushing and shoving. In Georgia, shoppers were arrested over the frantic dash for shoes, according to The Journal News.
Elsewhere, mall doors were torn off hinges. Police were called to serve as backup assistance to mall security.
Patrons that suffer an injury may be able to file claims against the store owners or the shopping malls. This is because under most states' premises liability laws, property owners need to reasonably ensure their stores are safe. They need to make sure that there are no hidden dangers or other conditions that may cause harm.
Crowded aisles and poorly placed inventory that fall and injure patrons could translate to liability.
Store and mall owners may also need to ensure that there is enough security patrolling the facility. This is especially true if they expect a large throng of shoe-shoppers.
Individual shoppers may also be held liable for some of the acts of violence. If you push, shove, or threaten others it's possible you could be liable civilly -- and criminally.
Consumers that want to get a hold of popular retail items like the Air Jordan should take caution. Try not to get caught up in the "mob" mentality, and steer clear of large crowds to avoid injuries. Online shopping is always an option, though there is the risk that the item may get sold out.
So far, it doesn't appear that the Air Jordan riots have set off any mall injury lawsuits. Here's hoping that the sneaker rush won't cause any lasting damages.