The worker at Wal-Mart who died, Jdimytai Damour, had no training in crowd control. He was put at the door simply because he was a large man. That did little, apparently, to dissuade the crowd. A lawyer for his family says it is considering a lawsuit. One would hope that things don't need to go that far. Wal-Mart should do the right thing by this man and offer them something for their loss. A company that rakes in nearly $400 billion in annual sales surely can come up with something.
A worker trampled to death when customers stormed a Wal-Mart for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving had no experience in crowd control and was placed at the entrance because of his hulking frame, police and a lawyer said Monday.
The details about the deadly stampede came out as police pored over video surveillance provided by the store while considering possible criminal charges. Lawyers were also preparing to sue over the episode.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey noted that the worker, Jdimytai Damour, was 6 feet 5 and 270 pounds, making the trampling all the more stunning. He was killed when a crowd estimated at 2,000 strong broke down the electronic doors in frantic pursuit of bargains on big-screen TVs, clothing and other items.
Mulvey said an autopsy found that Damour, 34, died of asphyxiation related to his trampling, and he conceded that it would be difficult to file criminal charges against any of the shoppers.
Attorney Jordan Hecht, who represents Damour's three sisters, said the family declined to make any public statements about the man's death. Funeral arrangements were pending, he said.
Hecht said Damour had been working at the Wal-Mart only for about a week and was hired through an employment agency that provides temporary staffing. Damour had not been trained for any security assignments and had no background in crowd control, he said.
Hecht said that he was considering a lawsuit but that no decision had been made. Two other injured shoppers filed a notice of claim Monday, the first step toward proceeding with a lawsuit.