Question:

If one walks by an object in a store in a non-careless way, but since the object was sticking out off the shelf, he knocked it over and damage was caused to it (e.g. a sefer in sefarim shop), is he liable to pay for what he caused? Let’s remember that he was in no way negligent… perhaps the store owner (or worker) is liable? What if a previous customer is the one who left it sticking out, is he liable for the subsequent damage caused?

Answer:

Answer from Horav Fleishman shlit”a.

A person is responsible in case such things are frequent and not if they aren’t. See Gemara in Bava Kama 27B. Therefore if it is a neat seforim store and items generally don’t stick out customer is patur but if messy he’s chayav because he should have looked. Regarding the person who put it back that way, the other customers aren’t chayav because it isn’t more than a geromo and maybe not even that.

 

Tags: damages

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