Jack Cain walked to a Walmart store for the purpose of buying dog food. He approached a small stack of 50-pound bags of Ol’Roy dog food. When he bent down to pick up the bag of dog food from the short pile, six 50-pound bags fell upon him from an 11-foot high stack of dog food located next to the short stack. When these six 50-pound bags of dog food struck Mr. Cain, they knocked him to the floor and seriously injured his neck and back. Cain sued Wal-Mart alleging negligence in creating a dangerous environment for it’s customers. The case went to trial in Fayetteville N. C. in January 2020. The practice of "high stacking" is regularly engaged in by Walmart as well as a number of other "big box" companies.
The evidence was that Walmart engaged in this high stacking policy so that they could pile more products into the sales floor and reduce the necessity of warehousing the product in the back of the store.
The sales floor was far larger than the backroom storage area of the store. Since floor space was limited, the way Walmart, and other such large stores, increased the volume of sales merchandise on the floor is to stack it high.
Injured Walmart Customer Awarded $2 Million Verdict
After the Cumberland County North Carolina jury returned a $2 million verdict in favor of the injured customer, Walmart settled the case before the beginning of the punitive part of the case. Mr. Cain had sued Walmart not only for his compensatory damages, to compensate him for his losses, but also punitive damages as punishment to Walmart for its willful and reckless conduct.
Mr. Cain was represented at the trial by Brent Adams and Diana Divine of the law firm of Brent Adams and Associates.