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Judge Upholds Wal-Mart Fine in Temp Death

March 28 2011

A judge upheld a citation and penalty against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for inadequate crowd management following the death of a temporary worker in November 2008 at a store in Valley Stream N.Y., the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported Friday.

Wal-Mart Stores had been fined $7,000, the maximum penalty.

The incident happened when a worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, of Jamaica, N.Y., was trampled at the opening of a post-Thanksgiving sale. Later, an OSHA reported an inspection found that the store's workers were at risk of being crushed by the crowd because of a failure to implement effective crowd management practices.

Wal-Mart Stores was issued the fine in 2009 and disputed it, bringing its concerns before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. With the commission's judge upholding the penalty, Wal-Mart Stores may still appeal to the full commission.

The New York Times reported that OSHA officials complained that Wal-Mart had spent more than $2 million on legal fees to defeat the $7,000 fine. The New York Times also reported that a Wal-Mart spokesman said the company was likely to appeal the judge's ruling.

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