Georgia readers were likely horrified by the Aug. 3 shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart Supercenter that left 22 people dead. Now, four members of a family who were caught up in the tragedy have filed a lawsuit against Walmart Inc., Walmart Stores Texas LLC and the man who committed the shooting.
Two members of the family involved in the lawsuit suffered gunshot wounds during the massacre. One of them, a male, has gone through 13 surgeries and remains in critical condition. According to the lawsuit, Walmart was negligent for failing to provide onsite security on the day of the shooting. This position challenges a long-time legal stance that contends shopping center owners and retailers are not legally liable for violent acts that take place on their property. If the claim succeeds, it could change the way retailers approach security on their premises.
The plaintiffs’ attorney argues that Walmart was aware that its stores have a history of violent events. For example, there was a hostage incident at an Amarillo, Texas, Walmart in 2016. There was also a deadly shooting at a Mississippi Walmart earlier in 2019. According to a 2016 article in Bloomberg, there were over 200 violent incidents at Walmart stores across the U.S. between January and July 2016, which calculates to approximately one violent crime per day. As a result, the lawsuit contends that Walmart had a legal duty to provide security.
Business owners are legally required to maintain a safe environment for the general public. If someone is injured while visiting a retail store or another type of business, he or she might want to file a premises liability lawsuit with the help of a personal injury attorney. If the claim is successful, the victim might be awarded a settlement that covers medical bills and other expenses.