Automotive

Unusual accident at grocery store parking lot *Help please?

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[OP]
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Mar 12, 2005
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Unusual accident at grocery store parking lot *Help please?

I picked up some groceries on Sunday, and when I was leaving the parking lot, a rather large (7 feet tall by 6 feet wide) metal cart holding the seasonal herbs/flowers rolled off the sidewalk and into my vehicle. I was unaware of this rolling cart because it hit my rear passenger wheel lip. I drove forward about 10 feet, and looked at my rear view mirror, and saw an entire cart of flowers flipped on its side, and everything is on the ground (the entire display, probably 100+ pots of flowers). The associate quickly shouted in my direction if I was okay, so I got out of my car, said I was fine, but looked to see if there was any damage on my car and there was a large dent, about 3 inches wide, and paint transfer from the cart.

The associate asked that I park, go inside the store, and someone would come take a look. Basically an associate took a few photos, we went back inside, and I wrote down exactly what happened and left my contact information. I got all the names of the associates involved. Nobody really knows why the cart ended up rolling by itself, but the 2 associates said they did try to stop it. Anyway, I called the store today to followup since I was told the store owner would call me this morning. Once we got on a call, he was very defensive, saying he hasn't looked at any videos yet to understand the situation, nor talk to any of his store staff (as if I made up the story?). He did say he looked at 2 photos, and quickly said looks like there was previous damage (there was no previous damage) and a lot of rust. He said the store has insurance, but he says rolling carts are an act of God, and this type of an accident will likely not be covered by insurance. He then goes on to say a few years ago, a rolling shopping cart hit someone in the parking lot, and insurance didn't cover it, but he (store owner) did "something nice" for the customer. This is the part where I think he is trying to weasel himself out of the this. He did offer that if I wanted to have this fixed, I can get a few quotes as he will call me back this Wednesday for next steps.

So I went back to the parking lot today, and tried to move one of those metal display carts. They seem to be reasonably heavy, maybe 30-40 lbs. I also noticed that none of these carts have wheel locks on them, or any sort of mechanism to prevent them from rolling. I know these carts are used for seasonal displays, and they are not permanent fixtures, so is there any negligence on the store's associates part for not securing it properly? I've never been into any sort of accident, and to be in such an unusual one as a first..I don't really know what to do. Turning to you guys on RFD for some advice.

Also, any body shop recommendations in the Mississauga area?

Thanks
44 replies
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2010
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What a prick store owner. I'd anonymously call my insurer and ask what would happen in that situation and get advice. However, I would pressure the store and threaten to go above him if he doesn't do what's right. It's not an 'act of God' (e.g. tornado funnel dropping from the sky and whisking your car away), someone (an employee) was negligent in not securing the cart and store should be resp. What a jackX. Be nice but if he doesn't smarten up, threaten to go social media on him. Hope it's a big chain so he'll really be screwed. If it's a mom and pop operation, maybe not as much.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
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Mar 18, 2005
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If you want your car fixed just call your insurance company and let them sort it out. If you just want something from the store then keep playing games with the manager saying you're just thinking of calling insurance because it's becoming burdensome.

What is it with RFD and being afraid to call their insurance companies?
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Jul 25, 2018
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Milton, ON
Evil Baby wrote: If you want your car fixed just call your insurance company and let them sort it out. If you just want something from the store then keep playing games with the manager saying you're just thinking of calling insurance because it's becoming burdensome.

What is it with RFD and being afraid to call their insurance companies?
Because if it indeed is considered an "act of God," the OP's premiums will potentially go up. They did nothing wrong and the store owner isn't willing to claim responsibility.

OP, this is a tricky situation and I don't think you'll be able to get the store owner to admit fault. Often you'll see signs at places with carts saying "we will not be held accountable for any damage to your vehicle, including vandalism and theft." That being said, this was a metal cart holding products they are selling and not a shopping cart, you may be able to claim negligence on their part. At the very least, continue pressuring the store owner and if they're still being a prick, threaten to go public with the story. And it goes without saying, ask your insurance company what the outcome would normally be in this situation.

Good luck!
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Aug 22, 2011
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OP, your vehicle was damaged on private property by an object owned and maintained by the property owner...the property owner is fully responsible.
The "Act of God" excuse has no merit.
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Jun 12, 2008
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I'm missing the part where the store owner isn't cooperating. He said to go get some quotes. So go get some quotes in writing and see what he says on Wednesday.
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Mar 7, 2007
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It is a tricky situation!

He may be trying to "weasel himself out of the this", but I think he told you the truth about the insurance policy: it probably doesn't cover this kind of accident.

Because his insurance does not cover it, then the repairs will have to come out of his pocket, so he will put up a fight to minimize his cost.

You need to present your case (to him) that this "accident" was caused by negligence, lack of training, inattention, etc. by his staff. Because that's what happened!

Good luck.
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Mar 13, 2004
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i would also try to get a copy of the video however they may not give it to you or let you record it with your phone without the police making them do it. You may also want to go to a police station to get some info/help.

As for a good bodyshop in Sauga, check out http://www.unibodycollision.ca - They are pretty good, been there before and have send many people to him. Deal with Rich.
0_o
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Evil Baby wrote: If you want your car fixed just call your insurance company and let them sort it out. If you just want something from the store then keep playing games with the manager saying you're just thinking of calling insurance because it's becoming burdensome.

What is it with RFD and being afraid to call their insurance companies?
If the OP calls his insurance company to submit a claim, does he have to pay his deductible?

I think this is an important consideration. Depending on the cost to repair, and the size of the deductible, it may not be worth it.
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Jan 19, 2007
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vkizzle wrote: OP, your vehicle was damaged on private property by an object owned and maintained by the property owner...the property owner is fully responsible.
The "Act of God" excuse has no merit.
Fully supported - @Somerandomguy this is fully within liability situation. "Act of god" would not cover situations where person has not secured a movable object that caused a damage to third party - that was reasonably foreseeable and fully preventable (like you mentioned "stoppers" or other immobilizing device). Think more at the margins: what if that cart roll-over a small child, would that mean an act of god?

My advice contact your insurance first, explaining the situation - let them sharpen the pencil with the owner.
If they flip, one of many liability lawyers in GTA will make a good living on this case.
Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
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Think of the Childre…
Brings back memories when I had my new car and after a few months got 5 dings caused by a shopping cart right by Zellers. Spoke with manager and security, they told me too bad so sad.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
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Cheapo-Findo wrote: Brings back memories when I had my new car and after a few months got 5 dings caused by a shopping cart right by Zellers. Spoke with manager and security, they told me too bad so sad.
Shopping cart incident is very different from a flower cart that wasn't secured properly. The store cannot control how customers behave and both you and I know that there's plenty of ignorant selfish aholes that are too lazy to return their buggy and just leave them around the parking lot and only becomes a problem when it hits their car lol
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2007
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Not sure which store this is but most chained stores have incidental insurance. You just fill out a report. Then their insurance should get in touch with you to make things right.
If it’s a small store, they should still have that insurance but you might get more resistance in claiming it.
[OP]
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Mar 12, 2005
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Lots of good advice here. I'll have to see how the conversation goes tomorrow to see where/how far I'm going to take this, whether social media/tv/whatever needs to be involved. I just don't want to get screwed as a result of the store owner not taking responsibility for this.

I called my insurance earlier to seek some advice, but the agent I got on the phone said I'm asking more for legal advice, and they don't really provide that. He said I could submit a claim, but with the deductible it might not be worth it since it'll likely be out of pocket for me, and my premium would probably go up as a result.

I went to a few body shops this morning and got a couple of quotes, ranging from $900 to $1500 for the repair. Do you think the grocery store would do a cash settlement instead of going through insurance? Not sure what their deductible would be, but for a grocery store, its got to be at least in the 5K or 10K range, no? meaning I would have a higher chance of getting a cash settlement rather than for them to go through their insurance?
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2010
778 posts
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Toronto, Ontario
sumrandomguy wrote: Thanks for all the replies everyone. Lots of good advice here. I'll have to see how the conversation goes tomorrow to see where/how far I'm going to take this, whether social media/tv/whatever needs to be involved. I just don't want to get screwed as a result of the store owner not taking responsibility for this.

I called my insurance earlier to seek some advice, but the agent I got on the phone said I'm asking more for legal advice, and they don't really provide that. He said I could submit a claim, but with the deductible it might not be worth it since it'll likely be out of pocket for me, and my premium would probably go up as a result.

I went to a few body shops this morning and got a couple of quotes, ranging from $900 to $1500 for the repair. Do you think the grocery store would do a cash settlement instead of going through insurance? Not sure what their deductible would be, but for a grocery store, its got to be at least in the 5K or 10K range, no? meaning I would have a higher chance of getting a cash settlement rather than for them to go through their insurance?
deductible should not apply if you're not at fault.
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Jan 19, 2007
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sumrandomguy wrote: Thanks for all the replies everyone. Lots of good advice here. I'll have to see how the conversation goes tomorrow to see where/how far I'm going to take this, whether social media/tv/whatever needs to be involved. I just don't want to get screwed as a result of the store owner not taking responsibility for this.

I called my insurance earlier to seek some advice, but the agent I got on the phone said I'm asking more for legal advice, and they don't really provide that. He said I could submit a claim, but with the deductible it might not be worth it since it'll likely be out of pocket for me, and my premium would probably go up as a result.

I went to a few body shops this morning and got a couple of quotes, ranging from $900 to $1500 for the repair. Do you think the grocery store would do a cash settlement instead of going through insurance? Not sure what their deductible would be, but for a grocery store, its got to be at least in the 5K or 10K range, no? meaning I would have a higher chance of getting a cash settlement rather than for them to go through their insurance?
From your side you should count the number of hours you've spent dealing with this matter - call it emotional anguish or wasted mental cycles to find the right way.

From store perspective, if your words were right, for me the problem is not how much damage is to your car, but the dismissive and playing down attitude. That is called acting in bad faith.
In any case - this is up to you, but if it was me I would have called Diamond & Diamond or similar shops for a quick consult.

This smells to me, and there are punitive damages to be won here against the store to prevent such behavior in future + kick-back some of the wasted time here including replying to us :D how to deal with this situation.
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Sep 21, 2010
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As for the disclaimer argument, they have those virtually all the time but the key is if it's *reasonable*. Using an absurd example, shop could have a clown juggling axes in the parking lot and one falls on a toddler and slices him in half....do you think the sign reading "we're not resp for any incidents involving an ax" will hold in ct? LOL. Never mind it probably won't even go there due to societal pressures.

This OP occurrence isn't even a 3rd pty thing, it's the staff of the store being negligent w direct causation.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>

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