Vornado Named in Wal-Mart Stampede Lawsuit

The family of Jdimytai Damour, the 34-year-old Wal-Mart worker trampled to death on Black Friday at a Long Island mall, has named mall owner Vornado Realty Trust in its wrongful death suit filed yesterday in Bronx Supreme Court against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to the Los Angeles Times.

Damour was trampled to death early Friday morning after about 2,000 shoppers converged on the entrance to the Valley Stream store in Vornado’s Green Acres Mall.

According to a piece in today’s Newsday, the stampede was sparked by a dispute between shoppers who’d been waiting in line and those who’d been waiting inside their cars who, upon the store’s 5 a.m. opening, sought to cut those who’d been queuing outside.

The LA Times reports that the plaintiffs also named Securitas Security Services USA, “which the suit claims was providing security and patrol services at the Valley Stream store.”

The suit claims the defendants “created an atmosphere of competition and anxiety amongst the crowd that caused the crowd to surge and enter into a crowd craze” and “engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem…”

Other accusations include that the defendants did not offer adequate security or properly train or supervise existing security personnel, and used ineffective crowd control.

Vornado Realty Trust, which owns, according to its Web site, “177 retail properties in 21 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico aggregating approximately 21.9 million square feet,” issued a statement to CNN saying, “We are saddened by the tragic occurrence, but we do not comment on pending or threatened litigation.”

Vornado Named in Wal-Mart Stampede Lawsuit