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For deal-seeking shoppers, Black Friday can be downright dangerous

Last week, with turkey and pumpkin pie still heavy in their bellies, millions of shoppers across the country headed to malls and retail stores hoping to take advantage of the price-slashing deals that are readily associated with Black Friday. For retailers, Black Friday signals the official start to the holiday shopping season and provides an excellent opportunity to get customers through the doors.

In order to entice customers away from Thanksgiving celebrations and out of their warm beds, many retailers offer so-called door buster deals. These deals are typically only afforded to those shoppers who wait in line for a store to open and are quick enough to beat out their fellow deal-seeking shopping opponents.

While Black Friday shopping has become a fun tradition for many people, it's definitely not all fun and games for everyone as, each year, there are reports of retail-related injuries and even deaths. Founded in 2006, the website keeps track of the number of reported injuries and deaths that occur on the day after Thanksgiving at shopping stores and retail centers across the U.S.

According to the website, 2011 was a particularly dangerous year to be a Black Friday shopper as some 40 people were reportedly injured in two separate pepper-spray attacks at Walmart stores in California and North Carolina. Additionally, that same year, a 61-year-old man died after he suffered a medical emergency and collapsed while shopping among oblivious deal-seekers at a Virginia Target store.

Other causes of Black Friday shopping-related injuries that are noted on the website include fist fights, car accidents, stampedes and shootings. New York residents who suffer injuries at retail stores on Black Friday or any other day would be wise to consult with an attorney who can help determine if negligence is a factor.

Source:, "Black Friday Death Count," Dec. 2, 2015

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