Failure to Act on Spousal Abuse Triggers Suit

August 24, 2001 ( ? A wife attacked at work by her spouse has sued her employer for failing to take steps to protect workers from spousal abuse.

Just a half hour after Bryan Midgette purchased bullets at a Wal-Mart store in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on August 30, 1999, he chased down his wife, Marsha, an employee of the store, and shot her in the head before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.

The suit, brought by Marsha Midgette, who survived the incident, claims that her employer knew about the situation with her husband, but did nothing to prevent his continued visits to the store, according to the Legal Intelligencer.  

Track Record

Midgette had physically abused his wife three days prior to the shooting incident on the store premises that left her critically injured with significant brain damage.  

While purchasing the bullets at the Wal-Mart storehe had asked a store manager when his wife would be arriving for work.  

Failures To Act

Although Marsha Midgette had obtained a court order that required her husband to stay away from her, his visits to the store had continued.

The suit alleges that Wal-Mart:

  • was negligent in failing to call police when Midgette came to the store,
  • had inadequate security, and
  • failed to implement and enforce a policy of protecting employees who are victims of spousal abuse

The suit is Midgette v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 01-cv-4277.