The family of a security guard crushed to death in a Black Friday stampede at a Long Island Wal-Mart sued the retailer Wednesday, accusing the store of using marketing techniques that created the “frenzy” leading to his death.
The complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court in the Bronx by Jdimytai Damour’s sister, Elsie Damour Phillipe, who lives in the Bronx, also alleged that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its co-defendants failed to provide adequate security and safety measures. The other defendants are Green Acres Mall and its owner, Vornado Realty Trust, and Securitas Services USA Inc.
The complaint said Wal-Mart “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 and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent.”
Damour, 34, was working at the entrance of the Valley Stream, N.Y., Wal-Mart, which is part of the Green Acres complex. When the doors opened about 5 a.m. an estimated 2,000 shoppers, some of whom had been in line since 9 p.m. the night before, rushed inside for Black Friday discounts. The shoppers overwhelmed the 270-pound Damour, who had recently started at the store as an independent contractor.
A preliminary report from the Nassau County medical examiner released earlier this week revealed that Damour died of asphyxiation.
Phillipe, who filed the complaint as the administrator of her brother’s estate, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The Nassau County Police Department is reviewing store video and the actions of the crowd, and Wal-Mart’s protective measures are under investigation.
“We consider Mr. Damour part of the Wal-Mart family, and are saddened by his death,” said Hank Mullany, president of the Northeast division of Wal-Mart U.S. “We have been in communication with members of his family to do what we can to help them through this difficult time.”
Mullany said Wal-Mart is working with law enforcement officials to “implement even stronger safety measures.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty