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Hello! I am a 68-year old woman who is currently walking with a cane due to side effects of a stroke last year. I recently went to a home improvement store to do some shopping and I used one of their electric shopping scooters. I took it to the elevator, and when the doors opened, the cart simply would not move. Deader than a doornail. There were several people waiting to get on the elevator, and one smart guy started harassing me with "You need to put it in reverse!" Really? Gosh, I wish I had thought of that. I couldn't just leave the scooter in the elevator because it had all my stuff in it. In frustration, I just ended up muscling it out of the elevator. This is not easy with a bad leg. None of those people waiting offered to help me. As I was pushing the scooter, I could feel a sharp pain my knee. The pain got worse over the next few days, and when I asked a doctor about it, he said that I had 2 sprained ligaments. I have been in bed for over a week, and when I have to I walk, I use a cane and/or a leg brace. I have written to the company that owns the store and got a "Gee whiz we're sorry; we'll slap the store manager on the wrist." kind of answer. I contacted them 2 or 3 times since then, but have had no reply. I contacted a legal firm, letting them know that I wasn't so much interested in personal compensation, but in getting the company to address the issue of negligence (I had a scooter issue with them once before) by getting them to have more scooters (they need more; it's a huge store and I think they only have 2), and to keep them maintained. The law firm replied that they can't do anything to compel a change in company policy. So, here's my question: Should I pursue a legal case to sue for punitive damages? I'm not a greedy person, but I want them to be aware of their shoddy oversight and not get away with it. Seems sometimes like the only way to get a company to do the right thing is to hit them in the pocketbook. Can you give some advice in this? Thanks!

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Community Concierge

@c446982v Thank you for taking the time to share your story and reach out. AARP does not offer legal advice on individual problems or cases. However, we do provide information, resources and referrals to legal help. is the best way to gain information on Legal Hotlines and Legal Aid in your state. This website is ran by the American Bar Association. I wish you the best of luck and wishing you a speedy recovery! 

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