What is an "invitee"?
In the law of torts, an invitee is a person who is invited to land by the possessor of the land as a member of the public, or one who's invited to the land for the purpose of business dealings with the possessor of the land. The status of a visitor as an invitee (as opposed to a trespasser or a licensee) defines the legal rights of the visitor if they are injured due to the negligence of the property owner.
The property owner has a duty to make the property safe for the invitee, which includes conducting a reasonable inspection of the premises to uncover hidden dangers. The property owner also has a duty to warn the invitee of hazardous conditions that cannot be fixed. Furthermore, property owners assume a duty to rescue an invitee who falls into peril while visiting the property. If an independent contractor hired by the landowner injures an invitee (intentionally or through negligence), the owner can be held vicariously liable. This represents the broadest duty of care owed to any class of visitors to the property.
An invitee is only an invitee within the scope of permission granted by the landowner. Thus, if he is invited to the living room as a house guest and is injured snooping around in the landowner's bedroom, he does not have invitee status in that area.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invitee"
Failing to provide security to manage the crowd they invited resulted in unsafe foreseeable conditions which constitutes negligence on the part of the property owner (Walmart).
Walmart is solely responsible. As any property owner would be for creating an unsafe condition on it's property.
Were injuries and even death foreseeable. I would estimate that yes...they were.
I kind of like your assertions here, Mr.W., especially the "where injuries and even death forseeable" part and the "creating an unsafe condition on it's property" part. That has, it would seem, broad application to all sorts of "invitees" and the resulting outcome that could affect them "negatively."
It totally negates the concept of personal responsibility and shifts it to the "inviter."
So, heck yes, sue Walmart for "allowing" the mob rule to kill someone.
And while we are suing Walmart, let's toss Planned Parenthood into that mix too, because they don't even make a "pretense" of their invitations. Their invitations are DESIGNED to get an unsuspecting baby on their premises and then deliberately kill it, all, I am quite sure, without their approval of even being there, let alone their approval of being killed because they were "carried along" by someone else who wanted to be there.
They are definitely "creating an unsafe condition on it's property" for every child that enters the premises, carried against their will by their "mother."
Here's a link from 2005 which links to several news stories about injuries at Walmart on Black Fridays in the past. I'm certain it's not an exhaustive complete list but just a taste of what Walmart has experienced in the past and neglected
to recognize as a serious problem for their guests. Walmart history of Black Friday injuries
Oh goody, more blogs of blame shifting and ignoring personal responsibility for ones OWN actions.
Here's another reason Walmart is responsible...it's employee incited the crowd by doing the following:
Augustine, 26, said the melee began right after a WalMart employee told the crowd the store would open early. The employee then said it was a joke. This angered the crowd, leading to people trying to rush the store, Augustine said. Newsday story
Ya, fire his butt. Then go after the city for not allowing the store to be open 24 hours. If the city had allowed that, perhaps the crowd would have entered in a more "orderly fashion."
Someone above mentioned that if someone, say a terrorist, had brought a bomb and detonated it at the entry point killing hundreds of said shoppers that it would be ridiculous to hold Walmart responsible and I agree as such risk wouldn't be "foreseeable" and thus, not negligence (absent specific warnings or threats).
Yippee! And I guess Walmart should have "Forseen" that the mob would break down the doors, shatter the glass, and trample on the employee, killing him. And it's equally interesting to note that not ONE person stopped their "bum rush" to try to help a "downed" person. In fact, they got angry that the Store announced that they had to close early because of the death of someone. Heaven forbid that ANYTHING should "stand in their way" of getting their shopping fix met!
Singling out and charging any specific customer that can be identified as an instigator of the mob mentality is OK by me too (this includes the Joking Walmart employee) but the ultimate responsibility, IMO, rests with Walmart, it's management and executives. Charge the CEO and Store Manager with negligent homicide (even if they are later acquitted or charges are dropped) and see if this event EVER happens at a major retailer again.
Spoken as we have come to expect from lawyers. Just SUE anyone for any reason, "toss the case against the wall and see what sticks." BUT DON'T ever think that PEOPLE are PERSONALLY responsible for THEIR choices and actions.
I think we need to be suing the local, state, and perhaps even federal governments for anything that results in the death or injury of someone....say a pedestrian crossing a street who is hit and killed by the driver of a car who DIDN'T think the "rules of the road" applied to him.
You know, like that tragic case where the elderly man was hit a couple of times by cars and left to die in middle of the street while NO ONE came to his aid.
The PROBLEM is our society, Mr.W., that has lost the ability to CARE what happens to someone else, just so long as "*I* get to do whatever it is that *I* want to do."
Now just where do you think this "coarseness" has come from? "Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain is alive and well and so is self-centered, self-focused, selfishness....after all, it's all "just relative," right?
After all, they (the governmental units) SHOULD have forseen that the open invitation to cross the road COULD have resulted in the death of an innocent person as the result of the action of some other person. Stop lights (locked doors), the appointed time to cross (Opening time for the store, Cross/Con't Cross signs), and the presence of WAY MORE cars than the government "planned for" on that street, are NO EXCUSE. DON'T "look both ways" as you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for choosing to cross the road whenever you feel like it.
I see that legislatures are now getting involved and considering laws to protect their citizenry. Most are considering mandating security.
Oh for crying out loud. Station a Police Officer at EVERY intersection, or at least do so during RUSH HOUR when the government KNOWS their roads are going to be overcrowed. Do so at ALL intersections to "protect the public" from their own idiocy.
I tend to favor a law requiring that advertised sale prices need to be made available to shoppers for at least one business day and that if they run out of an item they must offer "rain check" certificates to permit customers to return and get their item for said price at a later date.
A "workable idea." How about picking up that item in JUNE. Let's put some time between the urgency of getting it for Christmas.
But if they only have ONE DAY to get the ticket, and they don't want to WAIT until more items are received from the manufacturers and then shipped to the stores, how exactly is that supposed to help solve the problem of the "shoppers" who WANT IT NOW! and don't care to wait? "Let someone else get a ticket and wait, but I am NOT waiting for what I want!"
Such law won't likely be necessary if the legal system is allowed to have it's way with Walmart by imposing a stiff punitive penalty against them for their gross negligence in this case which would make the future cost of protecting their invitee/guests/customers economical in comparison. This is how the legal system is supposed to work...to protect employees and patrons from profit driven Companies that ignore risk for the sake of the almighty dollar.
Oh crap. I guess we might as well sue the Auto companies for making cars available to the public that can exceed the posted speed limit too. Ya, that's what we need, more NANNY STATE laws to control the people who can't seem to exercise their own restraint and actions.
On another note...I don't have any idea why Walmart employees have failed to unionize yet. This event likely wouldn't have happened if a couple of 6' 3" union guys in union jackets were standing outside directing the unruly customers. IMO...it's not coincidental that this event occurred at a Walmart...they've been abusing their workforce for years now. It was only a matter of time. This is NOT Sam Walton's company anymore.
Mr.W., do you REALLY think a "couple of 6' 3" guys, union or otherwise, would STOP a mob intent on getting what it wanted?
And guess what, the POLICE were at the Walmart to "ensure order" and they left BEFORE opening time. Let's sue the city too for removing the officers from a "likely forseeable" event instead of remaining to "ensure order." THEY, after all, ARE in uniform and ARE ARMED, just like the 'ol sheriff standing between the door to the jail and the angry mob.
Why don't the employees unionize? Just wait for Obama to have his way and have NON-secret balloting where those same 6'3" burly guys can stand around and intimidate the voters. NO secret ballots!
And maybe they don't unionize because the company does a pretty good job at providing wages and benefits for their employess, without the need for UNION DUES and union control of their lives.