- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2008

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) | The family of a worker trampled to death in a Black Friday crush of bargain hunters at a Long Island Wal-Mart store filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming store ads offering deep discounts “created an atmosphere of competition and anxiety” that led to “crowd craze.”

The lawsuit by the family of Jdimytai Damour claims that besides failing to provide adequate security for a predawn crowd estimated at 2,000, Wal-Mart “engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent.”

Wal-Mart issued a statement saying it would cooperate with local law enforcement officials to develop stronger safety measures for the future.

In addition to the retailer, the adjacent Green Acres Mall, a realty company that manages the property and a security company hired to patrol the property were all named as defendants. A spokeswoman for the realty company declined to comment on pending litigation; none of the other defendants immediately responded to phone and e-mail inquiries seeking comment on the lawsuit.



Mr. Damour, 34, had been hired by an employment agency as a temporary worker at the Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream and had been on the job about a week when he died, said his family’s lawyer, Jordan Hecht.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound man died of asphyxiation after being crushed early Friday morning by the crowd, which broke down the electronic doors in frantic pursuit of bargains. At least four other people were treated at hospitals, including a woman eight months pregnant.

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