In court statements, Walmart indicated that its workers’ compensation program should negate the need for any litigation.
Attorneys for Walmart have asked that lawsuits filed by the survivors of a recent mass shooting in Virginia be dismissed.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, several survivors of the mass shooting claim that the company, the single largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world, had received advance notice that the shooter was a danger to himself and to other store employees.
The shooter, Andre Bing, was a Walmart supervisor with an alleged “known [propensity] for violence.”
In one lawsuit, a coworker claimed that Bing had asked his colleagues whether they had received active shooter training.
When they said that they had, Bing reportedly “smiled and walked away without saying another word.”
In November, Bing entered a Walmart break room and opened fire on his assembled colleagues before shooting several rounds into store aisles.
Seven people were killed and an additional four injured.
Photo by Hanson Lu on UnsplashNow, three Walmart employees—Donya Prioleau, James Kelly, and Briana Marie Tyler—are suing the company.
Prioleau, for instance, claims that she was actively harassed by Bing, who asked if he could “borrow [her] hair” and suggested that she would be better off “having kids” instead of maintain a career.
According to Prioleau and her attorneys, Bing had “a longstanding reputation as a cruel manager” and “had been disciplined” for misconduct in the past.
Nevertheless, local Walmart managers apparently liked Bing, and reinstated him as a “team leader” after he was demoted for “improper and disturbing interactions with others.”
Each of the three associates are demanding that the retailer pay them $50 million in compensatory damages, saying that Walmart knew that Bing was “mentally unstable” yet took no action to protect the well-being of other workers.
The Hill notes that none of the three plaintiffs, who filed their own, separate lawsuits, were stricken by gunfire, but they all claim to suffer an assortment of PTSD-related symptoms.
Several of the claimants also said that they suffered physical injuries while attempting to flee the breakroom and escape from Bing.
However, Walmart has told the court that it already funds workers’ compensation coverage for all of its employees.
The workers’ compensation benefits, Walmart attorneys wrote in court documents, provide compensation for a variety of “injuries of deaths [sic],” “including those that are the result of intentional assaults by coworkers.”
Last month, a Walmart spokesperson emphasized that the company was actively trying to provide affected employees with counseling and other resources.
“The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of the valued members of our team,” Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said. “Our deepest sympathies go out to our associates and everyone impacted, including those who were injured. We are focused on supporting all our associates with significant resources, including counseling.”
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