Wal-Mart Fined for Trampling Death of NY Worker

June 2, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - 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 carries a fine of $7,000. Wal-Mart has 15 days to contest the citation.

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 six feet five inches tall and weighed 270 pounds, the Associated Press reported at the time, according to Workforce Management. 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 for its “Blitz Friday” pre-holiday sale.

Separately, according to the news report, 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.