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Run away grocery cart hits someones bumper,who is liable?

by Lori

I had my shopping cart, stopped parallel to my car. I opened the passenger door, and put my grocery bag in the front seat. I went to get the next bag, and my cart was in the process of rolling down the sloped parking lot.

I immediately ran after it, and retrieved it,but not before it hit another car's bumper and caused some cosmetic damage.

The grocery store said they are not responsible, and they have signs in the parking lot to that nature.(note: the shopping cart had not been maintained and had a jagged sharp edge,which is what caused the damage).

Now the woman's insurance company called and said that they will go after my car insurance(even though there was no auto collision). They said because my car door was opened, and I was using the cart, I am liable.

I called two other insurance companies(including my own) and they said that,they would not process such a claim. I spoke to a lawyer who said that the supermarket should be held accountable, because there are no brakes on their carts,thus no way of assuring that the cart won't roll.

I feel like I am being taken advantage of, as I did not push the cart or move it in any way to make it start rolling away. I did act immediately to try and stop it.What is your opinion? Please help!

Thank you.


Hello Lori,

I am afraid you are liable. You have the duty here to make sure the cart (object with wheels) will not roll down the road.

However, Your auto insurance policy SHOULD have coverage for this. The key here is the "LOADING AND UNLOADING" your vehicle (a legal definition). You are "using" your vehicle if you are "loading" and/or "unloading" and your liability coverage SHOULD apply if you cause damage while USING your vehicle.

Talk to a lawyer.

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