GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — The death of a temporary employee who was crushed in a stampede of post-Thanksgiving shoppers at a Wal-Mart store could have been prevented, federal officials said Tuesday as they proposed fining the world's largest retailer $7,000 -- as much as it makes in about 18 seconds.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it was citing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for inadequate crowd management after the Nov. 28 death of Jdimytai Damour at a Long Island store.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Damour had been on the job about a week when a crowd estimated at 2,000 broke down the store's doors in search of predawn bargains, trapping him in a vestibule. Damour, 34, died of asphyxiation. Eleven other people, including a pregnant woman, were injured.
"Effective planning and crowd management could have prevented this incident and its grave consequences," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. The retailer has 15 days to respond to the allegations.