Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wal-Mart Crime report January 2015

Some one posted signs in a North Carolina Walmart saying, “Truck drivers you are not welcome at Walmart Manager.”

Management says it wasn't them.

My best guess is that I'm not the only one not overly concerned about the incredible injustice being done to Walmart by the people who posted this sign.

They had another wild animal flying around a Florida Walmart, and presumably eating any food he could get his hands, or beak on; the hawk was captured tre3ated and released.

If anything the number of shootings seems to have increased in Walmart, the first month of the year, including one shooting that left an employee dead and another that injured at least one more. There was also an intoxicated man that was arrested at Walmart and died in his jail cell shortly afterwards.

One of the people caught stealing from Walmart could apparently get up to twenty years in jail for stealing "$101.26 worth of merchandise" due to laws that make it a felony to be a repeat offender. These laws are becoming much more common and they're usually not enforced to the most extreme length, since our jails are already crowded enough. However they don't apply to white collar crimes that are committed by those with the most political connections nor do they apply to epidemic levels of activities including deceptive advertising, wage suppression tactics, and many other legal practices that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy at the expense of the working class.

This selective creation of these types of laws and enforcement of them is clearly a major reason why they have such a large problem with crime in the first place.

Ironically when it comes to trees, especially sentimental trees, on the property of a Walton family member they suddenly become environmentalists standing up for the protection of that tree, even if it doesn't seem to be threatened.

Another jury convicted a security guard who also worked for a small police department in Texas, that no longer exists, for tasering two people who were filming shopping carts before filming the security guard. This is just one of many examples that indicate that if someone needs to be blamed for something even the police or security guards will be blamed before considering any blame on those that make decisions.

Ironically this security guard unintentionally reported himself to the real police.

If he had been a Walton family member he might have had a much better chance and the trees in his yard would receive protection from the government; but then he would have simply hired someone else for security and let him take the blame when something goes wrong, often using subcontractors for plausible deniability reasons.

Another homeless person moved into Walmart for a couple days before someone noticed and had her taken into custody. And at another Walmart they found someone with meat in his pants again; they returned it to Walmart but didn't say whether or not they would put it back in the cooler; if they do it is virtually guaranteed that they won't inform customers. This has happened repeatedly at many Walmart; and they have also been caught selling expired food numerous times; so it isn't something I would rule out.

They've been caught doing worse plenty of times.

They're facing another lawsuit about gas can blasts; which they seem to be trying to blame their suppliers as they have in the past, without mentioning the fact that they routinely put enormous amounts of pressure on suppliers to cut corners and prices. Another study has come out about Walmart, or warehouse stores; this one indicates that the bulk sales probably contributes to the current obesity epidemic. This is almost certainly not the only thing contributing to obesity; Marion Nestle, author of "Food Politics" and many other researchers have indicated that deceptive marketing practices are clearly a major factor as well.

Walmart is heavily involved in those marketing practices along with other food corporations.

There was also a prayer vigil going on in Kentucky supporting a new Walmart organized by a local preacher; and counter protests by opponents who compare Walmart to slavery among other things. Several books and newspaper articles have exposed how Walmart often uses AstroTurf to create the appearance of grassroots support; so even though this article didn't mention it, I wouldn't rule it out.

The security guard that was convicted of tasering people filming shopping carts wasn't the last one to call the police and report himself; a suspected shoplifter called 911 and told them that he thought a couple plainclothes security guards were following him and he thought they looked like a couple of "thugs."

It wouldn't be the first time that Walmart security was described like that. By abandoning old designs that made it easy to see when someone was bypassing the registers with merchandise that has dramatically contributed to higher shoplifting problems in many stores especially Walmart.

Strange things happen at Wal-Mart!

In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.

Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in January 2015. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.

Man charged in theft of goods worth $3G at Roxbury NJ Walmart 01/02/2015

North Country man arrested after bomb threat empties NY Wal-Mart, Sam's Club 01/02/2015

Walmart in Wiggins Mississippi now open after bomb threat 01/01/2015

Judge To Ohio Walmart Shoplifter: Write A Letter To Your Kids! 01/02/2015

New Walmart Scam 01/01/2015

Wal-Mart appeals to state for tax break from Rockland Me. 01/02/2015

Hungry hawk flies through Fla. Walmart soda aisle 01/02/2015

BRADENTON, Fla. (NBC/SNN) — Among the post-Christmas shoppers, a bird of prey swooped in to a Florida Walmart. A hawk was flying around the aisles of this Bradenton store, near Sarasota. For the bird’s safety, and the shoppers’, a wildlife rescue worker was called in to remove the hawk on Wednesday.

He set out a trap with a live mouse to attract the bird — and it worked. The man was able to put a net over it and eventually hold the hawk in his hand. He even posed for photos with people before leaving to nurse the hawk back to good health.

“Yeah, I was glad we got him out of there because he is very emaciated,” said Justin Matthews, with Matthews Wildlife Rescue. “So, I’m going to feed him up, let him stuff himself and let him go.” Complete article

Police: Intoxicated man arrested at SC Wal-Mart, later found dead in jail cell 01/02/2015

LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - A 21-year-old man was found dead inside a Lancaster County jail cell hours after he was arrested for disorderly conduct at Wal-mart.

According to police, officers were called to the Wal-mart along Highway 9 Wednesday night around 7 p.m in reference to a report of an intoxicated person inside the store.

Officers arrested 21-year-old Justin Keith Sampley for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana. Complete article

Police: Woman killed in Dayton Ohio double-fatal crash was girlfriend of man killed in Walmart shooting 01/02/2015

Wal-Mart, Casinos, AIF Among Latest Fla. Governor Rick Scott’s Inaugural Donors 01/02/2015

Appeals court overturns weapons charge against Wal-Mart employee in 2011 Jacksonville Fla. shooting 01/02/2015

Police: Clifton Park man steals from Walmart 01/04/2015

Police: Man charged after slashing SC Walmart employee with knife 01/04/2015

Kansas Walmart robbed by gunman 01/04/2015

No bomb found at Lake Delton Wisc. Wal-Mart after threat and robbery attempt 01/04/2015

Police release info, images from Lake Delton Wisconsin Walmart bomb threat 01/05/2015

Former employee accused of stealing from NY Walmart 01/05/2015

Gas leak prompts Laurel Montana Wal-Mart evacuation 01/05/2015

Man charged with punching Prattville Alabama Wal-Mart manager in face while trying to steal $1K in goods 01/05/2015

Minnesota Walmart Employee Charged With Stealing $1,377 In 13 Days 01/05/2015

Group tries to make off with 205 items from Pa. Wal-Mart, police say 01/05/2015

Three arrested in strong arm robbery attempt at Walmart in Danville Kentucky 01/05/2015

Police: Couple Left Kids In Car While They Stole From Fla. Walmart 01/0/2015

Kansas woman sues Walmart over trampling at pre-Black Friday sale 01/06/2015

23 phones worth $13,600 stolen from Boutte La. Walmart; 2 suspects sought 01/06/2015

Woman steals purse from Pa. Wal-Mart shopper, violates probation, police say 01/06/2015

Search underway for man suspected of robbing a Wood River Ill. Walmart 01/07/2015

Big box proposal that riled Bloomingdale Fla. is revealed as Walmart’s 01/07/2015

Man, 54, arrested on armed robbery following Fla. Wal-Mart incident 01/07/2015

Lubbock Tx. police release images of man who attempted to rob Walmart 01/08/2015

Man passes off 'large amount' counterfeit bills at Pa. Wal-Mart, police say 01/07/2015

Woman charged with shoplifting, changing price tags on items at Walmart in Bayonne NJ: police 01/07/2015

Wal-Mart de Mexico 2014 Same-Store Sales Fell Slightly 01/07/2015

Mexico's Walmex says September same-store sales fall 10/03/2014

Walmart clerk refuses to print photo with shotgun 01/07/2015

Cedar Rapids police investigating shots fired incident at Blairs Ferry Iowa Wal-Mart 01/08/2015

Suspect arrested — but not shooter — in shooting near Cedar Rapids Iowa Wal-Mart 01/20/2015

Grandoe files suit for breach of contract against Walmart 01/08/2015

Wal-Mart employee accused of stealing from Fla. store 01/08/2015

Police nab serial Oklahoma Walmart purse snatcher 01/08/2015

Transient cited in theft of batteries from Oregon Walmart 01/08/2015

Walmart employee shot to death in his car at Chicago Ill. Walmart 01/08/2015

A male employee of a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, was found shot several times in his car, in the parking lot. No suspect has yet been caught.

From an article:

Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the parking lot of a Walmart in Bedford Park, near the border with Chicago.

Bedford Park police said they responded to a 911 call and found an unresponsive male shot several times in the front seat of a vehicle. A Walmart spokesperson said the victim is a Walmart associate.

The victim was taken to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he died. Complete article

Jury convicts guard who deployed Taser at Tx. Walmart in 2012 01/09/2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A tense confrontation on video between a Walmart security guard and two young men that went viral a couple years ago has resulted in the guard's conviction.

The three and a half minute video posted on YouTube documented the heated exchange outside the Walmart in the 9400 block of W. Sam Houston Tollwa near Beechnut.

The young men claimed to just be recording shopping carts in the parking lot. The officer didn't like it and definitely didn't like the camera turned on him. On the recording you can hear the guard ask for identification. When the men question him, he verbally pushes back and at one point aims his Taser at them.

We've learned the guard is William Marks of Cleveland, Texas. At the time he worked for a security company contracted by the Walmart. Marks called Houston police for backup. The Harris County District Attorney's Office declined charges against the guys behind the camera, but then pursued Marks.

"Basically trying to report the kids, he reported himself," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.

According to the D-A's Office, Marks didn't have the credentials to represent himself this way. At the time he was only a reserve officer for the now-defunct Kenefick Police Department. He was charged with a private security act violation, essentially working as a security officer without holding a security officer commission and Wednesday a jury found him guilty. That means no more work in law enforcement, according to the DA's Office. Complete article

Gunman at large after man shot outside Walmart store in Northeast Philadelphia Pa. early Friday morning 01/09/2015

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA -- Police are searching for the gunman who shot and wounded a man in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Northeast Philadelphia.

It happened at about 1:00 a.m. Friday outside the Philadelphia Mills Mall, formerly known as the Franklin Mills Mall.

The 26-year-old victim was shot about 75 feet from the front door of the Walmart. The store was open at the time, and police say it's lucky there weren't more injuries.

"When the shooting took place, this Walmart was open for business," said Chief Inspector Scott Small. "There were customer cars in the parking lot, there were several customers in the Walmart, there were about 20 employees in the Walmart."

"We're very fortunate there was no one else injured and no one was struck by stray gunfire," Small continued. Complete article

Gunman Steals TV From South Philly Pa. Walmart early Saturday morning 01/10/2015

Geena Davis Is on a Mission to Highlight Female Filmmakers. Her Biggest Ally? Walmart 01/09/2015

Police: Man Exposes Himself In Minn. Walmart Parking Lot 01/09/2015

Cashier booked for Tx. Walmart theft 01/0/2015

Belgrade woman pleads guilty to robbing woman at Augusta Me. Walmart 01/09/2015

West Sacramento Ca. Walmart Evacuated after Bomb Threat 01/09/2015

Woman accused of snatching purse in NC Walmart 01/09/2015

Police: Shoplifting dad shoves child, cart at Ky. Walmart employee 01/09/2015

Buffalo man banned from NY Walmart accused of shoplifting items worth $11 01/10/2015

NIAGARA FALLS – A Buffalo man banned from all Walmart stores was arrested Friday night in an attempt to shoplift items worth $11 from the Super Walmart on Military Road.

Edsill Cook, 69, was charged with third-degree burglaryand petit larceny following his arrest at 8:55 p.m. Police said he tried to steal two 9-volt batteries and a pair of pliers. The ban, police said, is because of a shoplifting arrest at the Amherst Walmart. Complete article

Bomb Threat Evacuates Baseline Rd. Little Rock Ark. Walmart 01/11/2015

Fire breaks out in trailer at new east Charlotte NC Walmart 01/12/2015

Seneca Falls woman, drunk on vanilla extract, arrested for DWI in NY Walmart parking lot 01/12/2015

Car catches fire at Crookston Minn. Wal-Mart 01/12/2015

Deltona Fla. Wal-Mart pharmacy tech’s license suspended 01/12/2015

Woman stays, sleeps at Grand Blanc Mich. Walmart for almost two days, police say 01/12/2015

GRAND BLANC TWP, MI – Grand Blanc Township Police say a woman spent at least 40 hours living in Walmart after she was kicked out a family member's home.

At about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, police were dispatched to Walmart, 6170 S. Saginaw Road, after officials caught a woman sleeping in the bathroom in the rear of the supermarket.

"During the day, she'd just walk around and meander near the store," Detective Matt Harburn of the Grand Blanc Township Police Department said. "At night, apparently she'd go into the bathroom and sleep.

After employees told her to leave the store, police were called. They met the 45-year-old woman inside. Complete article

Police seek man who stole $6K in iPads from Ky. Walmart 01/12/2015

Police: Suspected shoplifter, 16, punched Delaware Walmart worker 01/12/2015

Man Arrested for Stealing from Several Fla. Wal-Marts 01/13/2015

Woman robbed in Greensboro NC Walmart parking lot 01/13/2015

Saginaw man who stole sports apparel from Bay County Mich. Walmart pleads guilty to 20-year felony for stealing $101.26 worth of merchandise 01/13/2015

BAY CITY, MI — Stealing $100 in sports apparel from a Bangor Township Walmart has potentially cost an already imprisoned Saginaw man another two decades in prison.

David L. Hill, 27, on Monday, Jan. 12, appeared before Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran and pleaded guilty to one count of larceny from a person. The charge is normally a 10-year felony, but Hill also pleaded as a third-offense habitual offender, which increased the maximum penalty to 20 years.

In exchange for his plea, Bay County Prosecutor Kurt C. Asbury agreed to dismiss a charge of unarmed robbery.

Hill said that on the afternoon of Feb. 27, he went into the Walmart at 3921 E. Wilder Road intending to steal clothing.

"On my way out, one of the loss prevention people in civilian clothes ended up walking in front of me and (was) saying I had stolen merchandise on me," Hill said. "I tried running around him, he ended up grabbing me and I fell to the floor." Complete article

Man Wanted For Passing Counterfeit Bills at Easton Md. Walmart 01/13/2015

Brunswick man scammed Walmart for heroin money, says NY State Police 01/13/2015

Accidental shooting at Tenn. Walmart 01/13/2015

Person wanted for stealing bike, other merchandise from Statesville NC Wal-Mart 01/14/2015

South Richmond Va. Walmart evacuated due to gas leak 01/14/2015

Forbes: Retail Sales Drop 1% in December - Sell Walmart, Buy Amazon 01/14/2015

Mobile Alabama Wal-Mart armed robbery causes school lockdowns before suspect apprehended 01/14/2015

2 injured in shooting outside Eastern Boulevard Wal-Mart, Montgomery Alabama police say 01/14/2015

Springville man goes to jail for refund theft at NY Walmart 01/14/2015

Wal-Mart supports Nebraska Youth For Christ 01/15/2015

Police search for Ohio Walmart theft suspect 01/15/2015

Kansas Walmart employee accused of stealing from register 01/15/2015

Grandma: 4-year-old grandchild hid $30 worth of toys in blanket at Tx. Walmart 01/15/2015

Manchester man accused of stuffing items in comforter bags at Epping NH Wal-Mart 01/15/2015

Fla. pair accused of using fraudulent debit card at midstate Pa. Wal-Marts, police say 01/16/2015

Johnson City Tenn. Police Department: Woman arrested for Walmart shoplifting 01/15/2015

Kingsport Tenn. Police Department: Pair sought in Walmart shoplifting 01/15/2015

Rincon Ga. Police: Couple have routine for stealing from Walmart 01/16/2015

Security Photos From Suspected Pa. Wal-Mart Theft 01/16/2015

White Lake Mich. Police: Walmart customers accused of taking gift cards, merchandise after confusing cashier 01/16/2015

Police, K-9 unit and helicopter at evacuated Auburn NY Wal-Mart which was closed for 3 hours due to Bomb scare 01/17/2015

Lexington SC Walmart Reopened after chemical spill 01/17/2015

Clinton's Walmart connection fueling Left's doubts 01/17/2015

Deputies investigate robbery outside of SC Walmart 01/17/2015

Athens Alabama police arrest woman accused of trying to give child away at Walmart 01/18/2015

One injured after shooting at Coors and I-40 NM Wal-Mart 01/1/2015

NM Walmart shooting victim's father speaks out against gang violence 01/19/2015

Mich. Police ask for help in identifying man accused of injuring Walmart employee during theft 01/19/2015

Smoothie Blends Sold at Costco & Walmart Recalled because they may be contaminated with listeria. 01/19/2015

Cleveland federal judge lets class-action lawsuit that calls return policies into question against Walmart proceed 01/19/2015

Man arrested, charged with video voyeurism at Apopka Fla. Walmart 01/1/2015

Woman causes $1k damage to car over parking spot at NY Walmart 01/19/2015

Man arrested for exposing himself at SC Walmart 01/19/2015 The woman says she followed him to the parking lot of a nearby McDonalds to get his license plate.

A march is planned in support of West End Louisville Ky. Wal-Mart 01/20/2015

2 armed men rob West Brownsville Pa. Walmart prompting nearby schools lockdown 01/20/2015

Oneida NY police searching for two women they say stole $3,475 in goods from Walmart 01/20/2015

Police: Women rob Cicero NY Walmart, use stun gun on loss prevention officer 01/20/2015

Man shot on his way to Northeastside Ind. Wal-Mart 01/20/2015

Shopper tackles man with gun at Fla. Wal-Mart 01/20/2015

Suspected thieves caught on camera stealing from Va. Walmart 01/20/2015

Police Search for Suspect in Armed Robbery Near Fla. Wal-Mart 01/20/2015

Police: Men stole credit cards, then used them at Oklahoma Wal-Mart 01/21/2015

6 suspects arrested in $23K NM Walmart safe robbery 01/21/2015

Family of comedian killed in NJ Wal-Mart crash settles claim 01/21/2015 The terms of the settlement are confidential.

h Police Arrest Suspect in Armed Robbery Near Fla. Wal-Mart 01/21/2015

Lancaster County Pa. Wal-Mart target of multiple retail thefts, police seek suspect 01/21/2015

Shot fired at Winona Minn. Walmart -- by a shopping cart, not a gun 01/21/2015

Manheim Township Pa. police ask for help to identify Wal-Mart theft suspect 01/22/2015

Deputies working a special assign at the store catch man leaving Ga. Walmart with meat in his pants 01/22/2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. - A man was arrested for allegedly leaving the Deans Bridge Walmart with steaks in his pants.

A Richmond County deputy was working a special assign at the store Wednesday when he saw a man later identified as Demetress Glenn Howard and another suspect take two T-bone steaks and a bag of chicken wings in their shopping cart. The deputy later saw Howard leaving the store with only the wings in the cart. Howard reportedly did not pay for the wings.

When the deputy approached Howard in the parking lot, he removed the steaks from the waistband of his pants. The meat was then returned to Walmart. Complete article

Pics of Persons of Interest in SC Walmart Fire Released 01/22/2015 Damage estimates from the fire are in the millions of dollars.

Dog left chained behind Mich. Walmart chews own paw to get free 01/22/2015

Police looking into robbery at Walmart Neighborhood Market in Springfield Missouri 01/22/2015

Washington State Supreme Court: New trial in 2009 Wal-Mart armored car guard killing 01/22/2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The Washington Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in the killing of a Loomis armored car guard during a 2009 Lakewood Wal-Mart robbery.

The justices say a Pierce County prosecutor's PowerPoint presentation that repeatedly said in bold letters that Odies Walker was guilty amounted to prosecutorial misconduct. They said the prosecutor's "inflammatory arguments" violated Walker's right to a fair trial so he should get a new one.

Walker was one of a group of four who allegedly formulated a plan to rob the guard as he carried money bags out of the store.

One of the men shot the guard, another grabbed the money and Walker allegedly drove the getaway car. A jury convicted him on first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy charges. He appealed and the state's highest court chastised the prosecutor for using tactics that violated the defendant's rights. Complete article

Would-be shoplifter points knife at Ariz. Walmart worker 01/22/2015

Man who stole game systems from NY Walmart sought 01/22/2015

Couple used stolen credit card at Wal-Mart, Clayton NC police say 01/22/2015

Police: Woman robbed at knifepoint in Fla. Walmart parking lot 01/22/2015

Charges filed in two Ill. Wal-Mart thefts 01/22/2015

Wal-Mart China: Hitting headwinds 01/22/2015

Louisiana thief tries to escape on Walmart wheelchair shopping cart: cops 01/22/2015

Newington Conn. Walmart robbed 01/22/2015

ND Walmart employee arrested for theft 01/23/2015

Pullman Washington police report victim robbed at gunpoint behind Walmart 01/23/2015

Man wounded in shootout at Phoenix Ariz. Walmart 01/23/2015

Police: Man with meth recipe boosts $111 in batteries from Ormond Fla. Wal-Mart 01/23/2015

Walmart Says They’re Not Responsible For These Anti-Trucker Signs Posted In Their NC Store 01/23/2015

A Walmart in Hope Mills, North Caronlina was blasted on social media today after several images of anti-trucker signs posted in their store were shared online.

The signs, which were supposedly posted by a manger read: “Truck drivers you are not welcome at Walmart”.

Truck drivers and their families were quick to call out the company on Twitter and other social media platforms. Some even threatened boycotting the company. Complete article

Man sentenced to prison, for five years plus fifteen suspended, for setting fire in Conn. Wal-Mart store last February 01/23/2015

Rincon Ga. Police: Fight, shoplifting and damaged vehicle at Walmart in at least five separate incidents 01/23/2015

Police arrest two separate thieves at Wood River Missouri Wal-Mart, both including assaults 01/23/2015

Police: Bushnell woman arrested for shoplifting from Macomb Ill. Wal-Mart, MDH and more 01/23/2015

2 children charged in multi-million dollar SC Walmart arson 01/24/2015

2 Walmarts evacuated due to a bomb threat in Fort Collins Tx. 01/24/2015

Man, woman accused of stealing from Fla. Wal-marts 01/24/2015

Man with a gun terrorizes East Texas Walmart 01/24/2015

Man sues Walmart over gas-can blast 01/25/2015

The former mechanic from Coos County suffered burns over 45 percent of his body and now can’t work, he says

A Coos County man who suffered burns over nearly half of his body in a “flashback” gas-can explosion has filed a $13 million lawsuit against Walmart, which he alleges sold him a dangerous fuel container, the manufacturer of which went out of business amid a wave of costly litigation linked to the product’s design.

The plastic can produced by Blitz USA burst and sprayed burning fuel onto Daniel Rowlett as he poured a gasoline-diesel mixture into a burn barrel while trying to start a fire on Oct. 21, 2013, according to the suit filed Thursday in U.S. ­District Court in Eugene.

Blitz, based in Miami, Okla., was the largest seller of portable gas cans before it shut down in 2012 while facing product liability lawsuits filed by more than 80 people during a five-year period.

Like Rowlett’s complaint, many of the lawsuits accused Blitz of not fitting the spout of its signature gas can with an inexpensive safety screen that would have blocked flaming fuel vapors from shooting into the container and causing an explosion. Other manufacturers equip their cans with the piece.

Walmart was named as a defendant in some of the gas can suits. In 2013, the retail giant agreed to chip in $25 million to resolve the litigation, with Blitz paying another $136 million toward the settlement.

In regard to Rowlett’s lawsuit, a Walmart spokesman on Friday suggested the Coos County man’s own negligence caused him to be burned.

“It’s unfortunate when people misuse gas cans because tragic injuries can result,” company spokesman Randy Hargrove said. “Safety is a top priority, and we require the products we sell meet or exceed safety standards established by federal and state regulators. We’re looking into the complaint and will respond ­appropriately with the court.”

The statement echoes earlier declarations made by Walmart in gas-can explosion cases. Blitz cans had warnings stamped onto them, which cautioned people against using gas to start fires.

Rowlett is represented by attorneys Derek Johnson of Eugene and Jonah Flynn of Atlanta. Flynn has taken a number of similar cases in the past. He says Rowlett “didn’t do anything wrong” when he was injured.

Rowlett is a rural Coos County resident who worked as a mechanic before suffering burns over 45 percent of his body, Flynn said.

On the day of the accident, Rowlett decided to pour fuel into his burning barrel after mistakenly believing that he had failed to get a fire going a short time earlier, the attorney said.

The suit asserts that a vapor trail from the gas can ignited when the fuel came into contact with something burning in the barrel. The trail then rushed back into the can, causing it to explode violently and spray burning fuel onto Rowlett.

Rowlett’s medical expenses from the incident so far have totaled more than $324,000, according to the suit. Rowlett wants Walmart to compensate him for those costs, pay his future medical bills, and reimburse him for lost income. Flynn said Rowlett’s injuries will prevent him from returning to work as a mechanic.

The suit also seeks $10 million to compensate Rowlett and his wife, Janet, for pain and suffering. Additionally, Walmart should pay the Rowletts $3 million in punitive damages because it knew of dangers associated with the gas can and failed to provide “appropriate warning” to customers when the can was purchased, according to the lawsuit.

“It’s been absolutely devastating” to the Rowletts, Flynn said. “I’ve seen worse, but this is a very serious injury.”

Blitz cans have been associated with a number of deaths. In one notable case, a Utah jury in 2010 awarded more than $6 million to a man whose daughter was killed when his plastic gas can exploded as he poured gasoline into a wood stove to start a fire.

The man’s lawyers argued during trial that a flame arrester would have prevented the accident. The jury blamed Blitz for 70 percent of the accident while ruling that the can’s user was 30 percent to blame, according to media reports of the case. Complete article

Hoover Alabama police arrest woman accused of trying to steal $3,600 in razors, gum from Highway 280 Wal-Mart 01/25/2015

Police: Suspect who shot 7-Eleven clerk could be NM Walmart safe robber 01/26/2015

Monday's Most Wanted: Bristol Tenn. investigators search for Walmart shoplifting pair 01/26/2015

The growth of Wal-Mart may have made America’s obesity epidemic worse 01/26/2015

Our collective waistline has been expanding for decades. The adult obesity rate in the United States surged from 13 percent in 1960 to a whopping 35 percent in 2012 — with the most pounds added during the ’80s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, the first Wal-Mart store opened in 1962. The first Sam’s Club debuted in 1983. The first Wal-Mart Supercenter came in 1988. And today, thousands of warehouse-style grocery destinations offer bargains in bulk to shoppers across the country.

Coincidence? Maybe not. A new paper argues that food distribution methods have contributed to America’s obesity crisis.

“We live in an environment with increasingly cheap and readily available junk food,” said Charles Courtemanche, assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University. “We buy in bulk. We tend to have more food around. It takes more and more discipline and self-control to not let that influence your weight.” Complete article

Belleville Ill. Walmart hit by purse snatchers 01/27/2015

Montgomery Alabama police make arrest in shooting of woman in Wal-Mart parking lot 01/27/2015

Woman gives away newborn in Colorado Walmart parking lot 01/27/2015

Missouri Walmart customer fights back when robber tries to steal her purse 01/27/2015

Man arrested at Porter Tx. Walmart wearing body armor 01/27/2015

North Adams Police seek shoplifter who pulled knife at Mass. Walmart 01/28/2015

Mom charged with leaving toddler inside unlocked, running car while she shopped at Pa. Walmart 01/28/2015

Tenn. Walmart managers charged with taking thousands from cash registers 01/28/2015

Consumers being warned about Walmart tax refund scheme by Connecticut officials although the scheme is national 01/28/2015

Man steals 2 electronic kid cars from Fla. Walmart 01/28/2015

Adamsville Alabama police searching for driver involved in fatal hit-and-run near Walmart 01/28/2015

Repeat NY Walmart shoplifter pleads guilty to felony, enters drug treatment 01/28/2015

12-year-old calls in fake bomb threat at Ca. Walmart from school bus 01/28/2015

Shelbyville couple arrested for shoplifting at Bardstown Ky. Walmart 01/28/2015

Prayer vigil held for West Louisville Ky. Walmart as critics of the store hold protest 01/29/2015

A prayer vigil drew dozens of people to the site of a proposed Walmart in West Louisville the day before the Metro Planning Commission's vote on the plan.

The Rev. Milton Seymore helped organize Wednesday afternoon's vigil at 18th Street and Broadway and said the store is needed in order to provide jobs for the area, WDRB-TV reports.

A separate protest outside the planning and zoning office Wednesday drew people who are opposed to Walmart coming into West Louisville. Some said the chain pays low wages and shouted, "We don't want slavery," the story said. Complete article

Man wanted for stealing compressor, tools from Suffolk Va. Walmart 01/29/2015

Wal-Mart cuts about 50 positions at Bentonville Ark. headquarters 01/29/2015

Alabama Wal-Mart employee caught swiping thousands from his employer, police say 01/29/2015

Deputies: Suspect used stolen credit card at Walmart in Oldsmar Fla. 01/29/2015

Man arrested after robbing a northside Tuscon Ariz. Walmart 01/29/2015

Man, woman arrested in purse thefts at Ill. Walmart 01/29/2015

Suffolk Va. police searching for man who robbed a Walmart armed 01/29/2015

Suspected shoplifter calls 911 on Ga. Walmart security guards after they follow him out of store 01/29/2015

Alfonso Aguilar allegedly pulled a knife on the loss prevention officers after they stopped him for swiping some items inside the Georgia store. He told police he didn’t know why they were following him and described them as a pair of ‘thugs.’

A suspected shoplifter reportedly turned the tables on a pair of loss prevention officers after fighting them off with a knife and then reporting them to police as violent "thugs."

The stunning escape attempt by Alfonso Aguilar after exiting a Georgia Walmart on Sunday saw the man dial 911 on his cell phone while running from the two employees in the store's parking lot, AJC reported.

"These guys tried to grab me and tell me that they were," he says before trailing off in the 911 call. "But they looked like two little thug guys." Complete article

Walmart Relents After Asking Ga. Greeter to Stop Saying "Have a Blessed Day" 01/29/2015

Thieves Steal Motor Oil From Pa. Walmart 01/30/2015

Male cited for shoplifting at Ohio Walmart in motorized scooter 01/29/2015 An officer working off-duty security made the citation and someone from the police department decided it was worth posting on Facebook.

Walmart Heiress, Nancy Walton Laurie, Wants $90k For Damage to "Cherished" Eucalyptus Tree in Bel Air 01/26/2015

The latest project from Los Angeles megamansion-maker Mohamed Hadid—a 30,000-square-foot spec house in Bel Air—has been causing an unusual amount of neighbor outrage, from tales of tales of mudslides to permit noncompliance that forced the city to step in and stop work last fall. But now comes a bold new claim from Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie that the monster mansion has caused grave damage to a tree.

In a summary judgment, Walton Laurie charges that Hadid's company, with his knowledge, built a retaining wall on her property that "cut the roots to the family's cherished eucalyptus tree, causing it severe damage and putting it at risk of falling over," reports the Beverly Hills Courier. Walton Laurie wants the wall to be removed and for Hadid to pay her $90,000 for the trauma to the tree. This must be one heck of a tree.

Hadid's lawyer claims that this new wall Hadid built is in the exact same place as the wall it replaced, and that the new wall "serves the land much better than little piece of land they are complaining about." As for the tree, Hadid's lawyer's got it on good authority that the tree is totally fine: "We have an arborist who says the tree is thriving, and at one point in time was suffering from the drought." Complete article

Measles Panic Spreads at Ca. Bay Area Costco, Walmart 01/26/2015

At least 8 Busted at NC Walmart and charged during the week of Jan. 18 to Jan. 24 01/2/2015

Walmart worker charged with shoplifting from Mansfield NJ store 01/27/2015

Man charged with inhaling toxic chemical at Walmart in Mansfield NJ 01/28/2015

Man steals $750 worth of Pokémon cards from Halfmoon NY Walmart 01/2/2015

Attorney fears Ky. Wal-Mart decision a bad precedent 01/30/2015 A lawyer .... fears other companies will expect exemptions after a city commission approved a plan for the retail giant even though the plan does not meet code.

Three people steal thousands of dollars in items from Ky. Walmart 01/30/2015

Hendricks Co. sheriff seeks suspects in several Ind. Walmart robberies 01/30/2015

Man injured in crash outside Berlin Delaware Wal-Mart 01/30/2015

Deputies searching for woman who stole from Va. Walmart 01/30/2015

Rochester man arrested for thefts from Lockport NY Walmart 01/30/2015

Police seek tips in alleged NY Walmart theft 01/30/2015

$14K in phones stolen from La Grange Ky. Wal-Mart 02/02/2015

(Crossposted on both Open Salon and Blogspot.)

No comments:

Post a Comment