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Wal-Mart Cited in Holiday-Sale Trampling Death of Temp Worker

OSHA reported the worker died of asphyxiation after being knocked to the ground and trampled by a crowd of about 2,000 shoppers who were surging into the store for its 2008 ‘Blitz Friday’ pre-holiday sale.

May 27, 2009
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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the death of a temporary worker trampled by a crowd of shoppers at its Valley Stream, New York, store the day after last Thanksgiving. The citation announced Tuesday, May 26, carries a fine of $7,000.

Temporary employee Jdimytai Damour, 34, of Jamaica, New York, had no crowd control experience but was put at the door of the Wal-Mart store when it opened for its post-Thanksgiving sale because he was 6 feet 5 and 270 pounds, the Associated Press reported at the time.

OSHA reported the worker died of asphyxiation after being knocked to the ground and trampled by a crowd of about 2,000 shoppers who were surging into the store on November 28 for its “Blitz Friday” pre-holiday sale.

The $7,000 is the maximum fine in this case, according to OSHA. Wal-Mart has 15 days to contest the citation.

Separately, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice on May 6 announced a settlement with Wal-Mart that will require the retailer to improve crowd management for its post-Thanksgiving Day sales at its 92 New York stores, set up a $400,000 victims’ compensation and remuneration fund, donate $1.5 million to the community and provide 50 jobs annually to Nassau County teens.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

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