Kansas Woman Sues Wal-Mart over Injuries from Black Friday Sale

By | January 8, 2015

A southeast Kansas woman who says she was trampled at a Wal-Mart store on Black Friday in 2013 is suing the retail giant, claiming it did not do enough to protect her or make it clear to customers that so-called doorbuster items were in limited supply.

Amanda DuVall, 28, of Fort Scott filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in Bourbon County on Oct. 22, nearly 11 months after she said she was shoved from behind, knocked to the ground and stomped by customers pushing to get a $49.99 tablet. DuVall said she waited three hours at the store’s “early Black Friday” sale on Thanksgiving night 2013 and was at the front of the line when she was pushed down, according to the suit, which accuses Wal-Mart of negligence and violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

At Wal-Mart’s request, the case was moved to federal court in Topeka in mid-November, and last month DuVall filed an amended petition seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

“We looked into this situation as soon as we were made aware and have been unable to verify the plaintiff’s claims,” Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for the retailer, said.

DuVall contends injuries she sustained in the fall — during which her face struck the hard floor tile, according to the lawsuit — continue to cause her great pain in her head, neck and back, and have caused a loss of enjoyment of life and earning capacity.

“Defendant’s conduct showed complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others, including Plaintiff,” the suit says.

Messages left for DuVall’s attorneys were not immediately returned.

Every Wal-Mart store has site-specific crowd management plans in place for Black Friday, Hargrove said.

In its response to DuVall’s amended petition seeking damages, Wal-Mart said it “specifically denies” that DuVall “suffered any injury or damage.” The retailer added that if she did, “all such injury or damage was directly caused, in whole or in part, by the negligent acts, omissions or fault of Plaintiff.”

The suit claims the retailer violated the Consumer Protection Act by failing to tell customers there wouldn’t be enough of the $49.99 tablets for everyone who wanted one.

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