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Wal-Mart cited for fatal crowd control violation — premise liability issues common in Fort Lauderdale

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission have held Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to the full sentence and citation for inadequate crowd management.

The incident at issue was the November 2008 death of a worker who was trampled by a crowd at one of the company’s New York locations.

Our Fort Lauderdale premise liability lawyers understand that companies have an obligation to the safety and welfare of workers, customers and guests.

As we previously discussed in our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you’ve been involved in an accident on business property. Often times, a business will properly repair a negligent condition after an accident, making it harder to prove their fault in the court of law. It is also important to seek experienced legal advice regardless of the extent of you injury. Falls, in particular, can lead to neck, back and joint injuries, head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, which can be difficult to diagnose in the immediate aftermath of an accident.

Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was issued a citation with a proposed fine of $7,000 for exposing workers to the recognized hazards of asphyxiation or being crushed by a crowd. That fine is the maximum penalty amount allowed under the law for a serious violation. A violation is considered serious when significant harm or death is likely to result from hazards the employer knew or should have known about.

“This is a win for both workers and consumers. It’s only fitting that today the 100th anniversary of the deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City where 146 workers lost their lives that a judge affirmed OSHA’s right to protect the safety and health of workers from clearly recognized hazards,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels. “Today’s ruling supports OSHA’s position that, even in the absence of a specific rule or standard, employers are still legally responsible for providing a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause serious injury or death. If not properly managed by retailers, a large crowd poses a significant threat to the lives of workers and customers.”

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping those who have suffered a premise liability injury in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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