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Convenience Stores Premises Liability

7-Eleven, Inc. announced on December 8, 2010 that it was acquiring the 183 Florida sites of ExxonMobil’s retail interests. Most of the stores will be rebranded as 7-Eleven® operations.

Many of the stores are in high-traffic locations. As of December 2010, 7-Eleven, Inc. operates and franchises 610 stores in Florida. Many of these 7-Eleven stores are in the Tampa area.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 8,300 7-Eleven® stores in North America. During 2009, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of $58.9 billion. 7-Eleven stores used to be open from 7 am to 11 pm – hence the name.

The reasons people go to 7-Eleven stores

Most people who go to 7-Eleven stores are known as “business invitees.” They go to the 7-Eleven to purchase merchandise. They are considered a business invitee, if they go to the store to purchase an item, whether they actually buy one or not. Evidence, in the form of a receipt, is the best way to show you were in the store and were a business invitee.

Business invitees are owed a higher standard of care by the owner than licensees (people who use the premises without a financial benefit to the owner – a sidewalk walker, for example) or trespassers (people wrongfully on the property).

Most people who go to a 7-Eleven go for the convenience. It’s quick. There are a lot of 7-Elevens in the Tampa Bay area. The lines are small. They have ready-made items like coffee and donuts and standard staples like bread and milk. They offer financial services like check-cashing and lottery tickets.

Defendants. In a claim against a typical convenience store there are several types of defendants.

  • Franchise. The franchise that owns or operates the store. This is usually an individual. Sometimes it’s a separate business.
  • Company. The parent company 7-Eleven is also normally sued. The parent company is not automatically liable if the franchisee is liable. The claimant normally needs to show that the parent company failed to exercise some reasonable obligation to provide care and safety to the franchisee and thus to the claimant.
  • An independent contractor. Sometimes, the franchisee or the parent company will arrange for an independent contractor (not in the employee of the franchise nor the parent company) to do work in the store or to maintain the store. In these cases a claim can brought against the independent contractor if the contractor was negligent.
  • Manufactures. In some cases a manufacturer may be responsible for your fall. For example, if a railing or electronic door malfunctions and you’re hurt – the manufacturer may be responsible.

Type of Accidents

Owners of 7-Elevens and other convenience stores have a duty to protect their customers. This duty applies inside and outside the store. Please see our Supermarket Slip and Fall Cases Blog for more on liability issues and on what you should do if you have an accident.

  • Slip and Falls inside the store. These are the most common type of accidents to happen in a 7-Eleven.
  • Falling merchandise
  • Wet and slippery surfaces
  • Bad carpeting and tiles
  • Broken display cases
  • Parking Lot slip and falls outside the store but on store property
    • Uneven walking surfaces
    • Potholes
    • Broken walkways
    • Poor railings
    • Poor lighting

Types of injuries common to slip and falls

  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures.
  • Head injuries
  • Knee injuries including tears.
  • Neck injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Sprains – such as ankle or hand sprains.
  • Even death.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

If anyone you know has been hurt inside or outside a 7-Eleven or any convenience store, please consult or law firm immediately. Time is of the essence. Our premises liability lawyers will help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case. Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or a death please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: info@brookslawgroup.com.

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