No Prosecution For Wal-Mart Over Black Friday Death Stampede

After a security guard was trampled to death by an unruly mob stampeding the entrance of a Long Island Wal-Mart, many called for the criminal prosecution of the company for staging the pre-dawn “doorbuster” holiday sales event with little security. Yesterday the company evaded charges.

Mega-retailer Wal-Mart will avoid criminal prosecution for its role in the fatal post- Thanksgiving Day stampede at its Valley Stream store by agreeing to overhaul its statewide safety plan, paying out $400,000 to victims of the melee and donating $1.5 million to community programs, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Wednesday. Rice announced the agreement at a Mineola news conference Wednesday, more than five months after a temporary worker was killed by stampeding shoppers during the sale day. “No prosecution could have achieved what we have been able to do with this agreement,” Rice said. “Rather than bringing the world’s largest retailer to court and imposing a small fine against them, I felt it was important to require significant safety changes that will affect the whole state.”

Wal-Mart admits no wrongdoing under the plea deal. The family of the trampled security guard is continuing with a civil suit against the company.