Wal-Mart challenging $7,000 OSHA fine over NY worker death in 2008 Black Friday sales blitz

By Frank Eltman, AP
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wal-Mart fights OSHA fine in NY Black Friday death

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is fighting a $7,000 fine resulting from the stampede death of a temporary employee during a post-Thanksgiving sales blitz at a store on New York’s Long Island.

Company spokesman Greg Rossiter says the retailer is being asked to take the blame for not obeying crowd control standards that weren’t on the books in 2008.

That’s when a temporary worker at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store was crushed to death by a swarm of 2,000 bargain hunters who jammed into a vestibule.

Wal-Mart did pay nearly $2 million to avoid possible criminal prosecution over the worker’s death, but says it doesn’t want the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to gain possible control over future sales promotions.

A hearing on the dispute began Wednesday in New York.

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