A Cobb County, Georgia jury has returned a verdict for $1.5 million against Home Depot in a suit where a shopper was injured by falling merchandise. The man was shopping at the store when a pallet of plywood fell 24 feet from a forklift and struck the man. He suffered injuries to his neck and was disabled from returning to construction work.With the growth of big box retailers, falling merchandise has been an increasing source of injury to customers and lawsuits against big box retailers. Before the development of the big box retailing industry, stock not on display was placed in back storerooms, out of the way of customers and were brought out as needed or when purchased.The big box retailers have largely done away with the stock rooms in favor of stocking merchandise on high storage racks. With the advent of this method of storage, customers have suffered many injuries as a result of being struck by falling merchandise. This may not have been foreseen when this method of retailing was devised, but the risks of going this route have certainly become apparent through experience. To their credit, big box retailers have become more proactive in trying to eliminate some of the risks to customers associated with this method of stocking the stores, but even with improvements in technique, injuries still occur, and when they do, the big box retailers can be held liable for the resulting injuries.One thing that will be required to effectively prosecute a falling merchandise case is other prior accident and incident reports. Big box retailers know that these reports are trouble for them because they will show the defendant’s knowledge of the hazards of stocking stores in this method, and will fight tooth and nail to avoid turning them over. Also, many of these retailers are equipped with extensive sophisticated security systems which are intended to prevent shoplifting. The odds that a falling merchandise incident will be caught on tape is actually pretty high, so one thing that will have to be done in the wake of a falling merchandise accident is to get a letter to the retailer advising them to preserve the security tapes for later use and review. These are good reasons why anyone injured in a falling merchandise accident should hire an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.