Walmart Stops Contesting $7,000 Fine For Worker Killed By Black Friday Shoppers In 2008

After six years and millions of dollars, Walmart plans to stop fighting a $7,000 fine imposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration related to the death of an employee during Black Friday.

The Boston Globe reports that Walmart decided the process to appeal an administrative judge’s ruling that the retailer failed to control shoppers during the trampling death of a Long Island-area employee in 2008 had become too lengthy.

“We decided to put it behind us,” a spokesperson for the company said before adding that the retailer still believes the citation was unfair.

The ordeal began in 2008 when a Walmart employee was killed after a mob of deal-desperate Black Friday shoppers tore the store’s doors from their hinges and stormed inside, trampling the worker to death.

A subsequent investigation by OSHA found that Walmart put employees at risk by failing to put “reasonable and effective” crowd management in place. When the fine — the maximum possible — was levied in May of 2009, Walmart had 15 days either to pay or to appeal.

The chain chose to appeal the $7000 fine. By 2010, they’d spent more than $2 million on the appeal. Their argument went to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission — an independent group set up to rule on challenges to OSHA penalties — back in 2011, where it’s been waiting until today.

A year after the employee’s death, Walmart began making changes to Black Friday crowd management protocols, including working with crowd experts, local law enforcement and staggering sales throughout the day.

Walmart stops contesting fine for Black Friday death [The Boston Globe]