Walmart Spent $2M Fighting $7K Fine for Worker Death

Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death by Black Friday shoppers in 2008
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2014 8:56 AM CST

(Newser) – It's been six years since 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, who was one week into his temporary employment at a Long Island Walmart, was trampled to death by a mob of Black Friday shoppers. But while Walmart was hit with a $7,000 fine for its role in his death, it has yet to pay up, reports Huffington Post. The reason likely has nothing to do with the amount of the fine, which is the maximum amount the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can fine a company for serious violations. The retail giant reported net sales of $473 billion last year, and has spent $2 million litigating this case already, reports the Consumerist.

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For Walmart, there could be considerable ramifications if the fine is upheld. (The case is currently on appeal with OSHA, which handles workplace safety fines, and is listed as "pending review"—where it's sat for more than three years.) Because OSHA found Walmart at fault using the general duty clause, which rather vaguely puts the onus on employers to make their workplaces "free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to [their] employees," upholding the fine essentially means that employers will become responsible for crowd control. Walmart, for its part, says it's taken "major steps" toward improving crowd safety. (See why 30,000 Walmart employees are about to lose their health insurance.)

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