Stampeding Shoppers: Holiday Shoppers Kill Wal-Mart Worker

thumb_christmas_santa_fakeThe holiday carnage has begun. An employee at the Long Island Wal-Mart was trampled to death as shoppers stampeded to grab special deals on “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, the video below shows shoppers at another Wal-Mart fighting each other over the last XBox in the store.

The 34-year-old temporary employee was a maintenance worker who tried to hold back the eager crowd just after the store opened at 5 a.m. When they knocked him over, the crowd continued to step on him despite his pleas and obvious effort to breathe. A co-worker, Jimmy Overby, 43, witnessed the attack: “He was bum-rushed by 200 people. They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”

Even as emergency workers tried to save the worker, people stepped or jumped over them to get into the store.

During the melee, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was also knocked to the floor and stepped on. Three other shoppers reported injuries.

We discuss the liability of stores in our torts class, particularly in light of the Weirum v. RKO decision holding a radio station liable for injuries caused to a third party when teenagers drove recklessly to find The Real Don Steele in his marked van. The court held that the reckless driving was a foreseeable response of teenagers to the promise of free concert tickets.

A union has already alleged that the stampede was foreseeable and could have been prevented, here. It seems litigation is likely.

Stores are obviously aware of the dangers of such stampedes. Indeed, some stores like Filene’s Basement market pictures of the rush of shoppers to entice others to their deals. This is a typical case of presumed negligence of a store to properly control the foreseeable rush of shoppers. There is a video this week of parents tearing each other apart at another Wal-Mart over the last available XBox. For a video of crowds fighting over the last XBox, click here.

For the full story, click here.

In the meantime, two are dead at a Toy R Us in Palm Desert, California. Witnesses reported an altercation followed by gunshots. Two women got into a fist fight near a check out counter and the men with them finished the fight with gunfire. For the story, click here.

So much for good will and cheer.

For other stories, click here.

15 thoughts on “Stampeding Shoppers: Holiday Shoppers Kill Wal-Mart Worker”

  1. Buddha et al,

    On the regrettable occasions that I’ve had to set foot inside a Wal-Mart I don’t think I’ve seen one happy person.

  2. The phrase once was “shop ’till *you* drop”

    A human being trampled to death in a human stampede over a greedy rush to consume cheap Chinese merchandise; in America, you say?

  3. Mike,

    I agree, Christmas is no longer about what it should be about, the birth of Jesus Christ. That’s what it is, plain and simple.
    It’s no longer about Him, but about what we want (or are told what we want!)as gift givers or gift receviers!

    It’s about the latest and greatest junk out there that companies want you to think you need. And the idea that you have to buy something for everyone has been shoved down our throats, it’s crazy.

    I don’t like Christmas, it’s all commercialized, just like every other holiday. Don’t even get me started on Easter.


    I totally agree with you on what you said! Those companies know damn well what they are doing to consumers!

  4. Oh my God, it’s so horrible hearing about this. A man, shouting for his life, killed under feet without any mercy just so people can get good deals. We are turning into emotionless cannibals. This article is like a scene described from George Orwel’s 1984. I can’t believe this

  5. I hate this in so many ways. Obviously the worst being that a man was killed. People thought so little of hurting him that they kept stepping on him until he died. Something is terribly wrong with ignoring the cries and pain of another person.

    Secondly it is a terrible statement about our society that people will literally kill for an x-box. I wonder if the makers of x-boxes and wiis can be sued over this as well. These are both commercial, assembling line made products. The shortage is artifically created by the companies to jack up prices and make their products look “hot”. I think they, as well as the store, could have forseen something like this, seeing as they make them artificially scarce.

    Thirdly, we don’t need this shit. People are spending money they don’t or barely have on something that has very little meaning. Our society’s value system is radically upside down.

    I am so sorry for this man’s death and for the other people who sustained injury.

  6. Like Buddha I do not, will not and have never set foot into a Wal-Mart. They are terrible to their workers, support virtual slave labor manufacturing in foreign countries and have destroyed small businesses in many of the communities they serve.

    I disagree with Sally though because I think there is both a Christian and political element to this story. As a Jew, familiar with Christianity and the Gospels I find it perplexing that many Christians demean their joyous holiday by allowing it to become commercialized to the point of insanity. While I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ve always loved it as a time of year. My parent’s friends were predominantly Italo-Americans and we always spent the holidays with them and occasionally went to see the pageantry of Midnight Mass at St. Pat’s in NYC.

    As the many decades have past, the Christmases I remember from my youth has morphed into an excess of consumerism. Baby Jesus is relegated to a minor figure, replaced by a fat, red-suited Santa, who is the patron saint of an orgy of greed and excess. This Santa, as now portrayed, was actually the invention of a Coca-Cola add in the early 30’s. “The War on Christmas” as decried by know-nothings like O’Reilly and Hannity, is not an attack by liberal atheists, but rather a loss of focus by many
    Christians. It is abetted by that portion of its clergy that conflates Jesus with Republican politics. As all will remember George Bush called for America to shop after 9/11 as its contribution to fight terrorism.

    Republicanism, in its current milieu, is an expression of corporate consumerism, worshiping profits over people, while hypocritically shouting “Praise Jesus.” My reading of the Gospels tells me that were he to return today Jesus would be displeased by the phony piety and disgusted by the greed and death fostered in His name.

  7. What does Bush have to do with this story? Why does everyone feel a need to somehow relate any story to politics?
    I don’t see how this story has anything to do with either Bush or Obama.

    Heck, there could be a story about how someone found a mouse in their bag of potato chips and somehow, someone will find a way to make it either Bush’s or Obama’s fault or find a way to bring them up.

    Now, let me get back on topic!

    Stories like this are why I avoid Black Friday shopping. It’s still all worthless junk that I didn’t need before and still don’t need today. I feel sorry for that man’s family. Those people ought to be ashamed of themselves. I hope their tv’s break on them and are beyond repair shortly after the warrenty expires.

    I believe in karma and those guilty will get pay their dues sooner or later!

  8. And on point, the main reason I will not shop at Wal-Mart is the economic destruction they have wrecked across small town America. The secondary reason is exemplified by the above: there is something about Wal-Mart that brings out the basest in human nature. I am usually hopeful for the future, but a trip to Wal-Mart always – ALWAYS – makes me think evolution has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

  9. JEFF bitches that he doesn’t understand that the Separation of Church and State is a key factor in the decision to go to war with the British. He bitches that he doesn’t understand the difference between saying “worship to your own accord” and “This Is The State Sponsored Version Of God” and why that’s a bad thing. He bitches that his lack of education, poor understanding of legalism and history has made him look like just another Jesus Freak who doesn’t understand that this ISN’T a Christian country – there can be NO state religion (that means YOURS too). JEFF bitches because no matter how hard he tries he still sounds like an RNC right wing Neocon parroting puppet like all the other morons our real enemies have utilized to damage this country from the inside. JEFF bitches because he knows that the criminals he backs will be facing retribution and their last chance to start a nuclear war for Jesus is about to leave the building.

    Hmmm . . . let me see . . . that’s about 7 JEFF bitches to 0 Turley bitches. See, el Jeffe, there is a difference between EDUCATING and BITCHING. You’d have learned that if you’d had the capacity, er, chance, er, been paying attention.

    Methinks the lady doth protest too much. And by lady I mean troll. Quit hiding behind Jesus. He can fend for himself.

  10. Turley bitches that people want religion in our lives to teach civility then bitches when a small minority misuse religion for political or personal gain and then bitches when after religion has been thrown out of our lives people act like animals.

    bitch bitch bitch

Comments are closed.