A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder after he stole a forklift from a Lowe’s and run a woman over in a nearby The Home Depot parking lot. According to the authorities, the suspect, Bryce Caleb Timothy Brown broke into a Lowe’s in Waldorf, Maryland at approximately 12:40am on Sunday, July 2, 2023, and stole a forklift. He rammed it through the hardware store’s gates, according to police. He then drove the forklift into a neighboring Home Depot and plowed it into a parked car. The victim, Gloristine Pinkney, 73, was sleeping in her car when this occurred. She exited her vehicle and started running away. Unfortunately, the suspect followed her and ran her over with the forklift. He then proceeded to steal her vehicle and flee the scene.
Officers arrived at the scene in response to the reported burglary of the forklift at the Lowe’s store; they found the forklift in the nearby parking lot, with Pinkney under it. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, the victim and the suspect did not know each other.
Police found the victim’s car near the suspect’s residence later the same day, where he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, assault, theft, and more.
Without a doubt, this is a horrible incident. The elderly woman was sleeping in her car in a parking lot – which is very common among those who are homeless – and was targeted by someone who was seemingly going on a rampage.
The incident highlights two problems at these stores: first, failing to properly secure heavy machinery like forklifts, and second, failing to ensure that their parking lots are clear of any parked vehicles every night. This is an incident that could have been avoided if both Lowe’s or Home Depot (or even just one of these entities) had done their due diligence to keep their premises safe.
Below, we will discuss liability for incidents like the one mentioned above and other incidents.
Home Depot and Lowe’s Liability for Incidents
The owners of hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a duty to keep their premises safe. This includes ensuring that certain products are locked away. What about forklifts and other machinery? Forklifts and other machinery that is used by employees on a daily basis should be put away and secured when not in use. It should not be simple for anyone who breaks into the store to access these vehicles and drive off with them. In addition to making sure that any machinery is properly secured (i.e., in a locked area), they must also have proper surveillance – including on-site security guards, surveillance cameras, alarm systems, etc.
What about parking lots? Parking lots at these hardware stores must be kept in safe condition (free of any hazards or dangerous conditions that can lead to incidents). In general, hardware stores do not allow any overnight parking. These stores have posted signs and tow vehicles in violation of posted rules. Many property owners, however, do not enforce their own rules, resulting in people leaving their vehicles in their lots overnight and even sleep in their vehicles. Parking lots remain part of the premises that property owners must keep safe. By not doing anything to prevent vehicles from being on their lots overnight, the property owner could be liable for any harm resulting from an incident.
In other words, both the owners of the Lowe’s and the Home Depot could be found liable for the incident discussed above.
For more information about the legal options available to you, contact the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible.
Can I Sue and Recover Compensation?
Yes – based on the details surrounding your claim, you could file an injury claim or a wrongful death claim for the harm that you or a loved one suffered associated with the failures of Home Depot and/or Lowes. Based on the details surrounding the claim, you could be entitled to receive compensation. Although every claim is different, some of the compensation that you could be awarded could include the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Legal fees
You might have questions about average case value and the average time that it can take to settle these claims. These are important questions, but they can be difficult questions to answer without a lawyer first evaluating your situation. If you have found yourself asking any questions regarding average case value or the time it can take to reach a settlement, we urge you to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to answer all your questions and fight for your rights!
The Statute of Limitations – How Long Do I Have to Sue?
All claims are subject to a statute of limitations, or a deadline to sue. If claimants fail to file their claims on time, then they could lose their right to sue entirely. For more information about the total length of time that you have to file your claim against Home Depot or Lowe’s, contact the experts here at our law firm. Our lawyers here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group are ready to provide you with all the information that you need to fight for your rights.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
Here at our firm, we are not afraid to take on any property owner to fight for the rights of our clients. To make the legal process as simple as possible for anyone looking for legal help after an incident, we offer free legal services. These free legal services include free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information that you need to either begin or continue your claim. To benefit from these free legal services, contact us at your earliest convenience.
Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients will never have to pay any upfront legal costs for our legal services. In addition, we work on contingency; therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything unless their claims are successful. Even then, all legal fees come from the settlement award, so you will never have to worry about having to pay anything out of pocket.
If you are ready to discuss your claim with our lawyers, contact us today.