In 2008, Black Friday turned deadly at one of Wall-Mart’s Long Island locations. As eager shoppers rushed the store’s entrance in hopes of taking avantage of store wide sales, a Wall-Mart employee was trampled and killed. Following the incident, Wall-Mart was hit with a $7,000 fine. Since, Wall-Mart has spent over a million dollars in legal fees in order to battle the fine.
Wall-Mart claims that ‘crowd trampling’ was not a forseeable danger. Therefore, Wall-Mart has put a lot of time and money into fighting the fine. The company worries that if the fine sticks, then they will be subject to increased oversight by the Occupational Safety and Health Organization. In such a case, OSHA would be able to oversee any future major sales events. I ask, why is this at all bad?
A Wall-Mart employee was killed, so obviously the store was doing something wrong. How is ‘crowd trambling’ not reasonably forseeable? If 2,000 over-excited shoppers are ready to rush an entrance in order to get their hands on great deals, then you’d almost expect for danger to follow. In Wall-Mart’s case, they failed to adequately protect their employees from such seemingly obvious danger.
Under labor laws, companies are responsible for providing their employees with safe and hazard free work conditions. Had Wall-Mart met this standard, then a tragic death may have been able to be prevented. At Goldstein and Bashner, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights and the health of workers. Our attorneys have represented injured workers across the Long Island and New York areas for over 20 years. We have helped these injured workers to recover compensation for any injuries that they may have sustained. If have been hurt, please contact our offices for a free case evaluation.