What to do if my 10 month old son cut himself with a knife at a department store?

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What to do if my 10 month old son cut himself with a knife at a department store?

This really sharp knife was left open and in a area where any child could get it. It just so happened to be mine. We went to the ER and he had to get stitches to close the wound. I went back to the store and filed an accident report and the manager said that Corporate would contact me. What will the department store pay for? Can I sue them?

Asked on December 14, 2013 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You could sue them but are not likely to win or at least not win enough to pay the costs of bringing the lawsuit.  Assuming Ohio has some sort of comparative negligence provisions (as most States, but not all, do), if I represented the store I would argue that while it may have been negligent for the store to leave a sharp dangerous knife out where children could play with it, it was much more negligent for a parent to let a 10 month old baby get anywhere near such a sharp and dangerous object.  Protecting a child is a parent's number one duty; it is not a store's.  While stores should not leave dangerous items lying around for children to play with, they do not have to child-proof their stores to the level that a 10 month old baby cannot hurt himself when a parent is not adequately supervising him.  And, in most States, if you are more negligent than the store, you recover little or nothing from them in a lawsuit.


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