Main | Thursday, December 04, 2008

Family Of Trampled Man Sues Wal-Mart Over Marketing Practices

In a case that may have far-reaching implications regarding the practice of "doorbuster" sales, the family of the Wal-Mart employee killed in the Black Friday stampede on Long Island is suing the company over its marketing tactics.
Security should have been better, but advertising also helped kill a temporary worker at Wal-Mart, according to a lawsuit filed by the estate and relatives of the 34-year-old man trampled by a pre-dawn Black Friday crowd at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store. At least one local police official and one retail marketing consultant also argue that Black Friday marketing and merchandising practices need to change in the wake of the incident.

A complaint filed today in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx on behalf of survivors of the fallen worker, Jdimytai Damour, claims that besides failing to provide adequate security, Wal-Mart "engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem," according to published reports. Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were the Green Acres Mall, its owner Vornado Retail Trust, and a security company required to patrol the property.
It appears to be unlikely that charges will be filed against any of the customers involved in the incident. Two weeks before the stampede, local police had warned that security and crowd control during holiday sales was the sole responsibility of retailers.

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