Was Wal-Mart Trampling a Crime?

Experts mixed on whether death can be prosecuted
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 2, 2008 9:32 AM CST
Nassau County Police stand just beyond the broken door of a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, NY, Friday, Nov. 28, 2008, as they investigate how a temporary Wal-Mart worker died.   (AP Photo/Ed Betz)
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(Newser) – Trampling a Long Island Wal-Mart worker in a frenzied rush for flat-screen TVs may be a prosecutable crime, reports Newsday, but experts are split. “In order to prosecute a homicide, you have to establish that someone caused a death," said a lawyer. "If I stepped on his arm, or chest, or leg, even if you have that on video, how are you going to establish that I caused his death?"

People pushing their way into the store may not have known they were hurting Jdimytai Damour. But if someone, say, purposely pushed Damour down, charges would be more likely. “Video is going to be the deciding factor,” noted another lawyer. Either way, a civil case—which requires demonstrating simple negligence to assert that Wal-Mart is responsible—could be an easier route for Damour’s sisters, who have hired an attorney.