Settlement In Shopper Stampede Case; Wal-Mart Avoids Criminal Charges

Wal-Mart will not face criminal charges in the death of temporary holiday worker Jdimytai Damour at its Valley Stream, NY store. Damour was posted at the front of the store when the out-of-control early morning crowd broke the door down, and he was trampled to death.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who began a criminal investigation shortly after last November’s customer stampede at Wal-Mart’s Valley Stream store, said that if she had brought criminal charges against the retailer in the worker’s death, the company would have been subject to only a $10,000 fine if convicted. Rice declined to say what charges were considered against Wal-Mart, citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

Instead, she said, the company has agreed to implement an improved crowd-management plan for post-Thanksgiving Day sales, set up a $400,000 victims’ compensation and remuneration fund, and give a $1.5 million grant to Nassau County social services programs and nonprofit groups.

Shoppers who recieve money from the compensation and remuneration fund must agree not to pursue civil suits against Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart to pay victims of stampede [Newsday]
Wal-Mart pays $2M to avoid charges in death probe [AP] (Thanks, Steve!)

Photo: kelly zen