Garden City, N.J. The family of a worker trampled to death in a "Black Friday" crush of bargain hunters at a Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream, N.Y., 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 claims that besides failing to provide adequate security for a pre-dawn crowd estimated at 2,000, the store "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."
Named as defendants in the lawsuit were Wal-Mart, the adjacent Green Acres Mall, a realty company that manages the property, and a security firm hired to patrol the property. None immediately responded to phone and e-mail inquiries seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Attorney Jordan Hecht, who represents the family of Jdimytai Damour —the 34-year-old employee who died of asphyxiation after being crushed by the crowd—said lawsuits are also planned against Nassau County and its police department.
Damour, a 6-5, 270-lb. man, had been hired by an employment agency as a temporary worker at the Wal-Mart store and was on the job about a week when he died, the family's lawyer said.