Southaven may be the home for a new upscale, high end outlet store shopping center located at the corner of Church Road and I-55. The City of Southaven has contemplated issuing a $15 million dollar- 20 yr. bond to make the necessary infrastructure changes to the property, with the plan of the City being repaid with tax revenues from the new development over time. According to the plans, the development will be approximately 330,000 sq. feet with more than 50 different stores.
Like the Southaven Towne Center on Airways Boulevard, many residents can be expected to shop at this new location. As important as proper infrastructure is to a successful project, equally important is planning for the safety of those persons that will ultimately shop at this outlet center. While under Mississippi premises liability law, store owners (business owners) are not the insurers of the safety of those persons that come to their business, they do have a duty to insure that to the best of their knowledge the premises is free of any danger or defect that might exist.
Often times, with newly constructed retail centers, malls, and store locations, there is a hurry to open the doors to the public before insuring that it is safe for the public to enter. Dangers associated with improper construction, defective sidewalks, defective parking surfaces, or other hidden dangers can lead to serious injury to those persons invited onto the premises to shop. Other dangers inherent to large retail shopping centers are in the area of security. With large crowds of shoppers comes opportunity for crime. If the shopping center has knowledge that security is an issue, yet they fail to enact a plan to provide a safe environment for its shoppers, the law may impose liability upon the shopping center for its failure to take action.
These principles do not just apply to new business, but also to established businesses. Injuries from falling merchandise, slip and falls, trip and falls, and the like, are common and can often lead to permanent and debilitating conditions that drastically change the life of the one injured. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury on a commercial premises, do not hesitate to contact one of our Mississippi premises liability lawyers to help you.
Desoto Times, July 27, 2011