Black Friday. The crowds of seasonal shoppers are racing for holiday bargains and this year, it has become an event causing serious injuries and even death. Black Friday is the traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Retailers hope to turn their balance sheet from red to black during this season.
A California toy store was the scene of a horrific tragedy. Although the desert community police department is still investigating this crime, it appears that two families got into a dispute over a toy and both men took out their guns simultaneously and shot each other. As you might imagine, this toy store was full of children and adults and there was screaming and crying all over the store. Kids were heard crying, “I don’t want to die”. What a horrible start to the holiday season for these families.
The other shocking incident was in a Wal-Mart store on Long Island, New York. The store put temporary employee, Jdimytai Damour in front of the store window to prevent hoards of energized shoppers from moving too quickly once the doors were opened that morning. Unfortunately, even his 6 foot, 5 inch, 270lb frame could not stop these crazed shoppers that broke down the electronic doors and crashed through the building to get to the low priced bargains. The untrained employee never had a chance. Damour died of “positional asphyxiation”, which was caused by thousands of shoppers literally trampling him to death.
In addition to the employee’s death, at least two dozen shoppers were injured, some seriously, including a pregnant woman who went into labor early. What happens to people that they get so enticed by the image of getting a super bargain that they lose respect for their fellow man? No one quite knows the mob-like mentality that consumes shoppers at 5:00 in the morning, but one thing is sure, a few people are now suing the store.
The family of Jdimytai is suing the store and the shopping center for wrongful death. Not only was this employee only on the job for one week, he was not trained at all in crowd control. And although there was security inside the store, they were not positioned outside where they were supposed to be. This event was not properly organized by the store and there is tremendous negligence on the part of Wal-mart. No one should have to die being trampled by thousands of screaming shoppers.
During the holiday season, retailers have many options opened to them to prevent such tragedies, such as distributing vouchers or having security allow people in the building in an orderly fashion. There is no excuse for employees dying on the job in lieu of profits.
Holiday shopping is in full swing here in Orange County and hopefully nothing that terrible will happen here. But if you have been injured in any type of accident, you need to call a professional personal injury attorney as soon as you can.