Despite his 6’5,” 270-pound frame, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was no match for the unruly crowd of an estimated 2,000 Black Friday, 2008 shoppers at a Long Island, New York Walmart. The crowd, some of whom had been waiting for many hours, pushed against the double glass doors. Damour, a worker of one week hired through a temporary agency, and six to ten other Walmart employees pushed back from the inside, but at 4:55 A.M., the doors bowed in and the shoppers surged through crushing Damour to his death and injuring others. Damour had no experience with crowd control and reportedly had not been trained for that purpose. Crowd control barriers were not employed and security personnel reportedly were inside the store rather than being outside to monitor and manage the crowd. Police had been on the scene for 30 minutes at 3 AM, but the crowd of 400 at the time was orderly and the police left. Walmart argued that it had taken appropriate and sufficient safety measures, but authorities subsequently questioned those measures and compared them unfavorably with other retailers’ approaches. Without admitting guilt, Walmart avoided criminal charges by agreeing to pay $400,000 into a victims’ com- pensation fund, along with $1.5 million to local social services causes. Walmart also agreed to build improved holiday crowd management plans for all of its New York stores. (Changes also were to be implemented nation- wide on a store-by-store basis.) The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; see Chapter 12) imposed a $7,000 fine for failing to maintain a safe work- place, but Walmart, at this writing, is appealing that fine because of fears it would set a precedent should some similar tragedy occur in the future. Damour’s family is suing both Nassau County officials and Walmart for civil damages.
law business and society 10th edition. Please read the TRAMPLED TO DEATH CASE on Page 283 of the textbook and respond to the following question: Did Walmart fail to fulfill its responsibilities to its employees and customers? Explain.
Walmart was at a lapse at many different stages:
- They did not informed police again as the crowds started swelling
- They were not able to gauge the unrest among the crowd to take precautions.
- The security staff who died was not trained in crowd management. Physique of a person can not compensate for lack of training. It is the training and exposure to appropriate circumstances which makes a difference in such times.
- The other security staff who should be controlling crowd and pacifying workers were not doing their duties outside the store but were inside the store when the tragedy occured.
- Some basic precautions like crowd control barriers were not in place.
These are a few factors listed above which shows that Walmart was not very serious about safety and security of either its employees or its customers. Hence, it will not be unfair to say that they let their employees as well as customers down.