Shopper threatens Pricesmart with lawsuit over trolley incident

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: PriceSmart’s La Romaine branch – Lincoln Holder

A shopper who was pinned between two trolleys while shopping at a major membership shopping club in March has threatened to take the establishment to court for compensation for dmage to her lower back.

She is contending that the accident occurred as a direct result of the company’s negligence and/or breach of occupiers’ liability and/or breach of its statutory duty, pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Attorneys for the woman, Sharida Khan-Prescott, wrote to Pricesmart’s company secretary on June 1, about the incident that took place on March 3 at the La Romaine branch. The letter said Khan-Prescott was struck with a loaded trolley which pinned her to another trolley while on the automated staircase, known as a travellator.

She was using the travellator to get to the car park on the ground floor, the letter said.

Attorneys Jamie Amanda Maharaj and Michael Rooplal are representing the shopper.

“Our client’s trolley was securely placed on the travellator by an agent and/or servant and/or employee of PriceSmart and our client, her daughter and friend stepped onto the travellator and stood behind it whilst our client was holding onto the handle of the trolley. This was in keeping with the instructions issued to our client by the said agent and/or servant and/or employee of PriceSmart,” the letter said.

It also said the employee placed another trolley behind Khan-Prescott.

“Our client indicates that soon thereafter, as our client was midway along the travellator as it descended to the ground floor, the trolley immediately behind her came rolling downwards towards her. Our client’s friend observed what was happening, shouted a warning to our client, however, our client was pinned in between the runaway trolley, which was filled with items purchased by another customer of PriceSmart, and her trolley. The said runaway trolley hit our client on her lower back and remained there until she reached the ground floor.”

In the letter, Maharaj said the incident was reported to someone at the club who said he was a manager. The letter said the employee was dismissive of Khan-Prescott’s complaint and got into a argument with her which led to security guard having to intervene.

Khan-Prescott’s attorneys have contended the accident was a direct result of the club’s negligence by failing to provide and maintain a safe environment for shoppers.

The letter said Khan-Prescott suffered bruising and swelling of her lower back and was in continuous pain for two weeks.

She was unable to work and as a result her bar suffered losses for the time it was closed. Khan-Prescott will be seeking special damages in the sum of $12,600 to recover loss of profits, the letter said. She will also be asking for $700 for her medical bills and will seek general damages for pain and suffering as well as $2,500 for legal costs.