Posted On: December 2, 2008 by Steven J. Malman

Wal-Mart Worker’s Black Friday Death Was Preventable

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 says that the death of Jdimytai Damour during the early morning shopping rush on Black Friday could have been prevented. Damour, a 34-year-old seasonal Wal-Mart worker, died after shoppers stampeding into the store at 5am, crushing him and other Wal-Mart employees.

The UFCW, which represents workers in the retail, food processing, and food industries, is questioning whether safety barricades were in place and if there was enough security. It also wants to know why steps weren’t taken to prevent shoppers from moving through the store in such a dangerous manner. Wal-Mart, however, is defending itself, saying it did install the proper barricades and work with internal and external security teams.

Some dozen people were knocked to the floor, along with Damour, as a crowd of about 2,000 shoppers broke through the glass door to get in. Preliminary autopsy findings show that positional asphyxiation was the cause of Damour’s death. Positional asphyxia can occur when a person is unable to get enough air into his or her body to breathe because of the way the body is positioned.

Police reportedly tried to give Damour first aid. At a press conference, Nassau police say that the store was primarily responsible for properly policing its own event.

The UFCW is calling for a full investigation into the deadly work accident. It also wants steps to be taken to ensure that such accidents never occur at a Wal-Mart again.

The union has long accused Wal-Mart of offering poor health coverage and low salaries to its employees. UFCW leaders are calling on the store chain to provide compensation to Damour's family and others who were injured during Friday’s shopping stampede.

lack Friday shoppers Fritz Mesadieu and his 19-year-old son Jonathan have already filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart for back and neck injuries they suffered during the mad shopping rush at the same store where Damour died. They are accusing the shopping chain of negligence for its failure to protect shoppers from injuries.

Wal-Mart death preventable, union says,, November 30, 2008

Wal-Mart worker died of asphyxiation, autopsy finds, Chicago Tribune, December 2, 2008

Related Web Resources:

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500

If your loved one is a worker who died in an Illinois work accident, call Chicago Workers' Compensation Attorney Steven Malman today to make sure you receive all your benefits.

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