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Fla. Woman Knocked Out in Shopping Rush

Florida 2003

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#1 DWF

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 09:54 PM

http://story.news.ya...rampled_shopper

Quote

A mob of shoppers rushing for a sale on DVD players trampled the first woman in line and knocked her unconscious as they scrambled for the shelves at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Patricia VanLester had her eye on a $29 DVD player, but when the siren blared at 6 a.m. Friday announcing the start to the post-Thanksgiving sale, the 41-year-old was knocked to the ground by the frenzy of shoppers behind her.


"She got pushed down, and they walked over her like a herd of elephants," said VanLester's sister, Linda Ellzey. "I told them, `Stop stepping on my sister! She's on the ground!'"


Ellzey said some shoppers tried to help VanLester, and one employee helped Ellzey reach her sister, but most people just continued their rush for deals.


"All they cared about was a stupid DVD player," she said Saturday.

This is insane, all that over some DVD players?? :wacko:  :disappointed:
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#2 Kosh

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 10:26 PM

I got to see a Cabage Patch Kids rush once. The store only had a few, so they spread them out in all departments, and shoppers had to find them. That was funny. No one got hurt.
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#3 Guest-2112st-Guest

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 11:14 PM

It's stories like this that make me glad I'm an intensely solitary person.

Ugh.

:angry:  :crazy:  :glare:

#4 RommieSG

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 12:51 AM

They'll put a DVD player on hold for her? :blink:

With what happened in their store, they should have GIVEN her a DVD player. Damn, it was only $29, as the article said.

I am liking Wal-Mart less and less with each article that I read that involves that store. :angry:

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#5 GiGi

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 01:16 AM

Wal-mart is evil!  I refuse to shop there.  I don't care if it is cheap, it isn't worth the price of my immortal soul!!!!
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Posted 30 November 2003 - 02:52 AM

RommieSG, on Nov 30 2003, 05:51 AM, said:

They'll put a DVD player on hold for her? :blink:

With what happened in their store, they should have GIVEN her a DVD player. Damn, it was only $29, as the article said.

I am liking Wal-Mart less and less with each article that I read that involves that store. :angry:

Rommie :cylon:
Never mind that-why weren't people ARRESTED for ASSAULT AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT???

A woman was nearly trampled to death!! Why were these a**hole shoppers allowed to get away with what they did?!


:crazy:

Pathetic.

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#7 Rhea

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 03:50 AM

Ow, Ow, Ow!

Poor woman. I make it a point never to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. It's a zoo, and it can be brutal.
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#8 ZipperInt

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 03:57 AM

Quote

Never mind that-why weren't people ARRESTED for ASSAULT AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT???

A woman was nearly trampled to death!! Why were these a**hole shoppers allowed to get away with what they did?!

Pathetic.

I agree. Once people are held accountable for their actions, the world will become a much better place.
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#9 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 06:47 AM

I carry pepper spray for occasions just like that.  Not mace, mind you.  This stuff is like an instant brick wall.

#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 02:03 PM

I hope she sues.
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#11 Kimmer

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 02:06 PM

Vapor Trails, on Nov 29 2003, 11:52 PM, said:

RommieSG, on Nov 30 2003, 05:51 AM, said:

They'll put a DVD player on hold for her? :blink:

With what happened in their store, they should have GIVEN her a DVD player. Damn, it was only $29, as the article said.

I am liking Wal-Mart less and less with each article that I read that involves that store. :angry:

Rommie :cylon:
Never mind that-why weren't people ARRESTED for ASSAULT AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT???

A woman was nearly trampled to death!! Why were these a**hole shoppers allowed to get away with what they did?!


:crazy:

Pathetic.

:glare:
Agree on both counts! I worked for Sears as a teenager and I was stunned at the behavior of shoppers - and this was years ago. I can't even imagine going near any store the day after Thanksgiving.

Lil, I agree with you also!

Wonder if letters to WM would help encourage them to do right by this woman?

#12 Kosh

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 08:24 PM

Vapor Trails, on Nov 30 2003, 03:52 AM, said:

RommieSG, on Nov 30 2003, 05:51 AM, said:

They'll put a DVD player on hold for her? :blink:

With what happened in their store, they should have GIVEN her a DVD player. Damn, it was only $29, as the article said.

I am liking Wal-Mart less and less with each article that I read that involves that store. :angry:

Rommie :cylon:
Never mind that-why weren't people ARRESTED for ASSAULT AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT???

A woman was nearly trampled to death!! Why were these a**hole shoppers allowed to get away with what they did?!


:crazy:

Pathetic.

:glare:
If cutomers got arrested, Wal-Mart would lose the sales. Can't have that. If the woman had called police, most would have been gone by the time they got to the store. About the only hope would be store cameras. If I were her, I'd have a lawyer on the store for the tapes.
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#13 Palisades

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 09:50 PM

I don't see how it's Wal-Mart's fault if shoppers stampede. What was Wal-Mart supposed to do? Have security guards standing by with riot control gear?

Edited by QuantumFlux, 30 November 2003 - 09:50 PM.

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#14 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:00 PM

Yeah, I'm not seeing what Wal Mart did wrong here.

People did stupid things long before Wal Mart existed; Wal Mart just happened to be the location, this time.

EDIT: Or, more succinctly, what QF said.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 30 November 2003 - 10:01 PM.

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#15 Rhys

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:10 PM

I don't know...  On one hand, I can agree with the assertion that a store cannot be held responsible for the actions of its customers, but this is hardly the first time something like this has happened.  At what point does it become negligent on the part of the store to not provide suitable crowd-control measures when they have a sale that they know is going to draw a crowd like this?

There are ways to do it besides having riot-control cops, too.  Just off-hand, if they're going to have, say, 500 DVD players available for $29, give out tickets/coupons well beforehand - if you start a month ahead of time, you won't have the same rush, and you'll draw people into the store twice - once for the coupon, and once for the actual player.

The thing is, I think the only way this sort of thing can be prevented in the future is for the stores to take responsibility for the crowd-control, and I think that will only happen if someone sues them.

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#16 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:31 PM

QuantumFlux, on Nov 30 2003, 06:50 PM, said:

I don't see how it's Wal-Mart's fault if shoppers stampede. What was Wal-Mart supposed to do? Have security guards standing by with riot control gear?
It's a little thing called "premises liability".  In a nutshell:  what Rhys said.  

This was an eminently foreseeable occurence and Walmart damn well SHOULD take responsibility.  They didn't just expect a huge crowd with this sale, they INVITED it.
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#17 DWF

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:36 PM

^^^I have to somewhat agree with that, while I don't think it was done overtly, but by putting that price on a DVD player, the day after Thanksgiving, is just inviting trouble. :crazy:
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

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#18 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:38 PM

Yup.  It's called accountability.  They want to encourage mad rushes for great deals then they damned well better be required to take reasonable steps to make those mad rushes SAFE.  It's that  simple.
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#19 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:43 PM

Quote

There are ways to do it besides having riot-control cops, too. Just off-hand, if they're going to have, say, 500 DVD players available for $29, give out tickets/coupons well beforehand - if you start a month ahead of time, you won't have the same rush, and you'll draw people into the store twice - once for the coupon, and once for the actual player

But that would make the DVD players unavailable to people at the store when the sale starts, which would reduce sales; there's no guarantee those 500 people are going to show up. Further, any additional layers such as that eliminates the entire point; it would drive up the price, and Wal Mart only functions because they can offer things at such a deep discount. It's also unfair to those who would be perfectly civil in obtaining a DVD player; it's punishing the masses for the actions of a few.

Quote

They want to encourage mad rushes for great deals then they damned well better be required to take reasonable steps to make those mad rushes SAFE. It's that simple

So, Wal Mart can never announce a sale on their PA system unless they have riot control there to make sure nobody gets trampled?  Or did you have some alternate method in mind?

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 30 November 2003 - 10:45 PM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#20 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:48 PM

Rhys already mentioned one alternative.  Another is roping things off to control the flow.  I've seen it done at dozens of stores. Just one example, when the Macy's in downtown SF first openned their XMas row it was a big deal and they had a line.  Simple. The idea that riot police are necessary to prevent this kind of thing is just silly Rov.  Think about it.
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