December 2, 2008

Wal-Mart Customers File Personal Injury Lawsuit

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Two Wal-Mart shoppers are suing the retail store for personal injury. Fritz, 51, and 19-year-old Jonathan Mesadieu say they sustained back and neck injuries after they got caught in the crowd of people stampeding into a Wal-Mart store during last week's Black Friday shopping rush.

Some 2,000 shoppers reportedly broke through the glass door and rushed into the building at around 5am on November 28. The Mesadieus’ personal injury lawyer says the two men were carried from where they were standing by the throng of people. They are now are experiencing back and neck pain.

Also, temporary Wal-Mart employee Jdimytai Damour died in the same stampede after he was crushed to death while he and other workers tried to open the store doors for the shoppers. Autopsy results indicate that the 34-year-old died of asphyxiation. Video footage shows up to a dozen people getting knocked to the ground as shoppers pushed their way into the Wal-Mart store. Damour was reportedly stepped on by hundreds of people.

The Mesadieus' personal injury lawsuit accuses Wal-Mart of recklessness, carelessness, and negligence. The father and son have also filed a claim against local police. They are saying that their injuries is causing them to suffer monetary damages in the form of legal and medical expenses in the range of $2 million.

Their personal injury attorney says that Wal-Mart failed to exercise reasonable care, including putting up barriers, improved police presence, and bringing in more security, that could have prevented the Mesadieus' injuries from happening, The Mesadieus say they saw police at the scene but that they left. Lt. Kevin Smith, however, says it was the store’s responsibility to provide security on Black Friday.

There have been other personal injury lawsuits filed by customers against Wal-Mart in the past. Five shoppers sued the retail chain in 1999 for injuries they say they sustained because other shoppers were rushing to buy Furby dolls. Another shopper sued Wal-Mart three years ago because she said that two other customers pushed her and pulled at her neck when she tried to cut in line.

Customers injured in crush suing Wal-Mart, CNN.com, December 2, 2008

Experts: Trampling death may be hard to prosecute, Newsday.com, December 2, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

If you have been injured in a store, restaurant, apartment building, or another premise that is privately or publicly owned by another party, you may have grounds to file a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today.