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Wal-Mart Employee killed by impatient shoppers

Published:

This was on Fox News this morning.   I don't think I need to add anything.  I'm speechless. 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,458744,00.html

Black Friday took a grim turn when a Wal-Mart employee in New York died after bargain hunters broke down the doors to the store.

The 34-year-old male employee was pronounced dead one hour after shoppers broke down the doors to the shopping center in Valley Stream, N.Y., and knocked him down at around 5 a.m. Friday, police said.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," Jimmy Overby, the man's 43-year-old co-worker told the New York Daily News. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too ... I literally had to fight people off my back."

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was also taken in for observation and three other shoppers suffered minor injuries during the incident, police said.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports of a stampede at the Valley Stream outlet but said a "medical emergency" had caused them to close the store.

"Local authorities are looking into the situation," said Wal-Mart representative Dan Fogleman. "Until such time that they've completed their assessment it would be inappropriate for me to share any additional information."

Shoppers around the country lined up early outside stores Friday in the annual bargain hunting ritual known as Black Friday. It got that name because it's historically been the day when stores broke into profitability for the full year.

Many stores open early and stay open late. The Valley Stream Wal-Mart usually opens at 9 a.m.

Nassau County police were at the scene investigating.

(also on Yahoo news)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081128/ap_on_re_us/wal_mart_death

Entry #173

Comments

1.
charmed7Comment by charmed7 - November 28, 2008, 2:29 pm
I went to IKEA, they were selling the left-over containers for a
$1.99 for a 20 piece set. They were fighting over $1.99 containers.
I couldn't believe it.
2.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 28, 2008, 3:42 pm
Unbelievable. They should have locked the store right back up, arrest every single one of these animals and charge them with mob action and accessory to murder. One can only hope they used their credit cards so they can be identified.
3.
Comment by Gentlespirit - November 28, 2008, 4:21 pm
My Goodness...what is this world coming too!!! :(
4.
jarasanComment by jarasan - November 28, 2008, 4:38 pm
The people that are responsible don't care. The blame should fall square on the hyped adverstisng and media onslaught that promotes this moronic, ignorant, selfish, consumerism of crap.
5.
time*treatComment by time*treat - November 28, 2008, 7:50 pm
Meh. The store will settle with the families of the dead employee and of the woman who miscarried (that's a whole 'nother judgement-call issue) for not providing "adequate security". Strange to me that people are surprised that this eventually happened.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 28, 2008, 8:39 pm
Actually, I'm not really surprised. I know I said I was speechless, but I really think the incident is really more maddening than anything else. We've become so jaded & callous by this stuff because we hear bad news all the time and get used to it. Even when we read about a child being murdered by her mother it's not "shocking" or "surprising" any more. When I heard that Caylee Anthony was missing, the first thing I thought was "the mother probably killed her." Microwaved infants, abused grandparents, tortured animals, bombings - maybe that's why I watched CNN Heroes for 2 hours last night. It's nice to watch some good news once in a while.
7.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 28, 2008, 8:40 pm
but I really think the incident is really

I'm glad we're not graded on grammar.
8.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 28, 2008, 8:42 pm
...or should I say sentence structure. Please excuse all the lame posts. My cable is out. :-)
9.
time*treatComment by time*treat - November 29, 2008, 12:05 pm
Anyone know how much WMT will collect on the life insurance policy?
10.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:00 pm
What are you talking about, time*treat?
11.
time*treatComment by time*treat - November 29, 2008, 1:23 pm
this :-) --> http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Insurance/P64954.asp
12.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:30 pm
My last post was asked because you often joke around. But to explain what I meant to the board:

AFAIK Wal-Mart couldn't have Life Insurance on an employee unless he/she is a top executive. One thing I learned when I first took an insurance course is that you can't just insure someone else unless there is what's called Insurable Interest. (Don't pay attention to all those detective who-done-it shows) A business can take out life insurance on a key stockholder. A partnership (like a medical practice) can have insurance on each other. If you run a gas station and someone shoots the attendant, you can't collect life insurance on him. Proof of financial impact must be sufficient to warrant compensation for any loss of life.
13.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:32 pm
I just took a look at that link. Interesting, since it's illegal.

I'll read it now. Thanks.
14.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:36 pm
Did you read the paragraph that said:

"The controversy helped convince Walt Disney and Wal-Mart, among others, to drop the policies. Winn-Dixie battled the IRS in court, but the supermarket chain recently lost its final round when the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision that backed the IRS."

15.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:45 pm
Did you read the paragraph that said:

"The controversy helped convince Walt Disney and Wal-Mart, among others, to drop the policies. Winn-Dixie battled the IRS in court, but the supermarket chain recently lost its final round when the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision that backed the IRS."

I was never involved in corporate insurance, although I understand it can be quite lucrative. It's because of unethical garbage like this. Since insurance is state regulated, I don't know where these policies were issued. However, to the best of my knowledge, they were popular 20 years ago but ran into too many roadblocks when trying to collect.

Here's another paragraph:

"Most states also have advise and consent laws that technically require companies to get workers permission before buying life insurance on them. But attorney Myers said many businesses circumvent these laws by purchasing the insurance in one of the states that doesn't require notice or consent, including Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont."

How old is this article? Look at this sentence she wrote:

"Strong insurance industry protests led the powerful committee to reconsider its action. Further work on the issue has been postponed until 2004, and indications are that the senators are softening on the idea of greatly restricting the policies, said Jack Dolan, ACLI spokesman."



16.
time*treatComment by time*treat - November 29, 2008, 1:53 pm
Yes I read it. Laws change on occasion and as long as the policy isn't specifically outlawed, they could reinstate it at any time.
Sort of like the bailout that failed (and all the peasants cheered) and then a worse version was passed (under threat) later in the week.
17.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 1:56 pm
Anyway, thanks for posting the link. I don't want you to think I was arguing or trying to save face here. I'd have to write too much to say why I doubt if they had insurance on this man who was killed, unless it's very small. Anyway, I don't think Wal-Mart buys these types of policies any more, but I can't be sure. Many states fought these policies and banned them years ago.   I think the story about the woman whose husband died in the article you linked is several years old.
18.
emilygComment by emilyg - November 29, 2008, 1:59 pm
Why are people acting worse than animals?
19.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 2:07 pm
True, since each state can make it's own rules. But the NAIC frowns when rogue states act "mavericky." This was supposed to also be a way to avoid paying taxes on income, since life insurance is not taxable. There are many ways companies and people with wealth circumvent taxes with insurance, and the IRS has been cracking down on them too.

Well, at least you showed that some corporations are even sleazier than we already knew!
20.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 2:12 pm
Emily, makes you wonder if maybe we should hunt or stick people alive into grinders and just leave the poor animals alone.

21.
Comment by jim695 - November 29, 2008, 3:32 pm
I worked at a Wal-Mart store in Fort Wayne while going to college. I was a bicycle assembler so, in 1997 and 1998, I was locked in the store alone overnight to build enough bikes for the Black Friday and Christmas rushes. I didn't mind, as I was able to get lots of work done with no distractions, and I could play the music I enjoyed as loud as I wanted to.

     Anyway, I think it was 1998 when the "Furbie" was the must-have toy of the season. On the day after Thanksgiving we opened the doors at 6:00 am, and the mob outside LITERALLY tore both sets of doors off the hinges trying to get inside. No employees were hurt, but that was only because our manager told us to stay behind the checkout lanes when he and his assistant unlocked the doors. They turned the keys and sidestepped the crowd, who charged into the store like a herd of stampeding cattle, desperate to buy one of 120 Furbies allocated to our store. Some of the customers were injured, although not seriously, and I'm ashamed to admit that I secretly believed they had gotten what they deserved. I was disgusted that people could behave that way, that their mindset could be so singular that they valued the possession of a toy more than the people they trampled on to obtain it.
     
     Since this seems to happen at a Wal-Mart somewhere almost every year, you'd think they'd put some people outside to regulate the entrance of the crowd, or that they'd install temporary but rugged turnstiles at the entrances to help ensure single-file entry. In an ideal world, such steps would be unnecessary, but people today just seem unable to exercise any self-control or civility when they see something they want.

     I don't go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday. The truth is, I'll only go to Wal-Mart when I have no other choice. I try to go very late at night, like 2:00 in the morning, when the employees are stocking the shelves and no one else is in the store. Generally speaking, people who shop at Wal-Mart are rude and discourteous to other shoppers. They'll park their carts in the middle of the aisle and carry on a conversation with their neighbors, completely impervious to those who are trying to get around them. Clear your throat or say, "Excuse me, please," and you'll get a dirty look or worse. "How dare you interrupt our conversation! Can't you see we're talking here? Go shop for another item on your list until we've finished catching up." Another thing that irks me is when I see people leaning on their carts like it's some sort of carnival ride. These are probably the same people who illegally park in the handicapped spaces because they simply can't stand the idea of walking a few extra steps.

     I don't find this attitude at other stores, such as Target or K-Mart, but I don't know why. Shoppers at those stores seem to be just as self-absorbed in their respective lists, but they're not rude to others, and they'll move their carts when they see you coming down the aisle. What is it about the Wal-Mart experience that makes some of us take leave of our senses? Are they piping in subliminal messages under the Muzak?

     Jim
22.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 4:02 pm
Jim, thanks for your post. I remember that toy! When I was a kd way back in the horse & buggy days, my Mom would take me to Boston via the MTA. (now called MBTA)   You know the song "Charley on the MTA"?? LOL   "Did he ever return, no he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned.   He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston-- He's the man who never returned. " (no applause necessary:-)

Anyway, there was a store called Filene's Basement that had automatic mark downs according to how long they were on the rack. There were no dressing rooms and some women would see something and just strip down and let it all hang out! Once I saw 2 women fighting (hair pulling & all) over a sweater.

I agree with you about crowd control. Jarasan also is right about the advertising to get people into this frenzy & voracious hunger.
23.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 29, 2008, 4:04 pm
Oops - Typo - should read "when I was a kid" just in case a "kd" is something bad. LOL   like Kinky Ditz
24.
time*treatComment by time*treat - November 29, 2008, 4:24 pm
The frenzy that jim695 mentioned happens at the big box stores (more visibly) because they will carry more of the 'must have' items at once - that and a great number of people are selfish jerks. BTW, I wasn't meaning to ignite a firestorm in your blog, earlier; my insurance comment was related to the ethics of it rather than its legality. "Mavericky" *tsk* *tsk* :-)

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