Family of Trampled Walmart Employee File Lawsuit

Illustration for article titled Family of Trampled Walmart Employee File Lawsuit

According to our recent poll, only 12% of respondents blame Walmart for the tragic death of a 34 year old employee in the Black Friday rush. But when it comes to lawsuits, money talks.


Naturally, the family of victim Jdimytai Damour is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Walmart, the adjacent Green Acres Mall, the company that manages the property and the company in charge of security. In their view Wamart was "engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent."


Despite his 6-5, 270 pound stature, Damour died of asphyxiation when trampled by the 2000+ shoppers that fled into the store that night. The amount that the family is suing for has not been disclosed, but I'm sure that they will get what they ask for. Not that money is much consolation mind you—especially when it appears that the shoppers involved will most likely get away scot free. [MSNBC Thanks Matt!]

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The blame falls squarely upon the crowd of people who trampled a human being to death in their ignorant frenzy to save a few dollars on consumer goods.

Wal-Mart, while perhaps unscrupulous in some ways, is not responsible to prevent people from behaving poorly. While they (Wal-Mart) could have hired security and "bouncers" to wrangle the herd, such measures should not be necessary. It is to be expected that reasonable people, using good sense will not murder a person in order to save a few dollars on gifts.

Naturally the victims will choose the easiest target, probably hoping for an out-of-court settlement, but this type of "grenade-style" lawsuit lobbing is unfair and evades the matter of accountability. Further, it causes needless increases in expenses as every store is forced to institute needless preventitive measures (lest they fall victim to negligence lawsuits as well) to herd and wrangle customers who should be excercising restraint and using common sense.

How far does it extend? Are proprietors expected to prevent all types of random and senseless acts of inhuman cruelty? Will shoppers be required to enter one at a time with a minimum distance between them? Should stores be required to have gates and corrals? Metal detectors and other means to prevent violence? And if Wal-Mart is liable here, should any in-store violence then be considered the fault of the property owner for being negligent in preventing it?

I have little doubt that Wal-Mart will settle with this family. Whether out of fear of punitive damge awards, or perhaps out of some sense of grief, or both. But there is little doubt that the blame rests solely upon the callous, ignorant shoppers who displayed absolutely inhuman cruelty only to satisfy their own greed.