USWalmart and other retailers face a new front on gun sales: Lawsuits
Jacksonville man arrested after boy saw cellphone camera in Walmart bathroom
A 28-year-old Jacksonville man has been arrested after a mother said someone tried to produce cellphone video of her 6-year-old son using the toilet in the Walmart at 13227 City Square Drive, the Sheriff's Office said. John Wayne Dailey of Faye Road was arrested Saturday on a charge of video voyeurism on a child and remains incarcerated on $100,000 bail, according to jail records. Officers were called to the Walmart about 6 p.m. after the boy's mother said he was using the store's front bathroom when his 12-year-old brother saw a cellphone slide into view under the wall from the stall next door, according to Times-Union news partner First Coast News.
- Lawyers and other experts say retailers face growing legal exposure for gun violence that take place in or around their stores.
- After a 2014 mass shooting at Jewish community center in Kansas, the retailer reached settlements with two families who lost loved ones.
- Walmart workers are putting heat on the company to stop selling firearms, with some employees saying they feel vulnerable.
Although the recent mass shootings at Walmart stores in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, have renewed calls for retailers to stop selling firearms, some people tragically affected by gun violence are taking matters into their own hands — by suing.
Walmart removes 1,000 third-party items from its website after mass shootings
Walmart has removed about 1,000 third-party items from its website in the wake of two mass shootings after determining the products violate company policy, a company spokesperson told CNN Tuesday. © ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images Shoppers wait in line to pay for their purchases at a Walmart store in Los Angeles, California on November 24, 2009, a few days before �Black Friday� the day after Thanksgiving which kicks off the holiday shopping season. Retailers are hoping �doorbuster� deals will stimulate sales despite the weak economy.
"Retail sellers are facing serious issues of liability exposure," said Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University and author of a book about litigation against the gun industry. "We're likely to see a stream of lawsuits in the wake of these mass shootings."
This shift in the legal environment around the manufacturing and sale of guns is occurring even as lawmakers and the Trump administration remain paralyzed over gun control. In 2005, Congress passed a bill that protected gun manufacturers and sellers from being held liable for injuries deaths inflicted by their products. Yet there are exceptions in cases where the sale violates state or federal law.
Walmart Canada rolls out nationwide grocery delivery through Instacart
Walmart's relationship with Instacart deepened today with an expansion of their partnership across Canada for grocery delivery. Walmart Canada had previously run a 17-store pilot program with Instacart, starting last September, in both the Greater Toronto area and Winnipeg. With the expansion, Walmart Canada will offer same-day grocery delivery from nearly 200 Walmart stores nationwide. Canadian Walmart shoppers can now shop online via Instacart's website or mobile app, select their city and store, then add items to a grocery cart, check out, and choose their delivery window.
As a result, experts say suits against retailers represent a new front against guns, with attorneys finding a more winnable argument: namely, retailers can be held liable for selling a gun to a person they should have known was purchasing the weapon for someone else.
For Walmart, the world's largest retailer and U.S. employer, such "straw purchase" restrictions have led the company to quietly reach at least two legal settlements with families who lost loved ones in a 2014 mass shooting in Overland Park, Kansas, outside a Jewish community center.
"One of the goals of the civil justice system is to try to improve conduct and prevent future cases from occurring — it forces firearms retailers to take a hard look at their practices," said personal-injury attorney David Morantz, who negotiated a settlement two years ago with Walmart on behalf of the family of a grandfather and his grandson who were killed in the Kansas shooting. In that case, the gun used in the shooting was bought for the assailant by another person.
Walmart sues Tesla for negligence after multiple solar panel fires
Walmart is suing Tesla for breach of contract and gross negligence after rooftop solar panel systems on seven of the retailer's stores caught fire, according to a filing. Walmart said the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in New York state court, arose from years of gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla and the solar panels it designed, installed and promised to promised to operate and maintain safely on the roofs of hundreds of Walmart stores." Bloomberg was the first to report on the court filing.
Relatedly, Walmart last year paid an undisclosed amount to settle a suit filed by the spouse of a woman shot to death outside the Overland Park community center. Both suits alleged Walmart should have known the gun used in the slayings involved a straw purchase, where the buyer is purchasing the gun for another person.
Morantz, a partner at Shamberg Johnson and Bergman, also helped win a $2 million settlement in April for families of the victims of a 2016 mass shooting from a now-defunct pawn shop that sold firearms to the shooter's girlfriend.
Sandy Hook's legal legacy
Walmart isn't the only retailer facing legal pressure over guns. Kroger, the country's largest grocery chain, was sued earlier this month for allowing patrons to carry firearms in its grocery stores in the states and towns where local laws allow the practice. The suit filed over the shooting death last October of a 69-year-old man in a Louisville, Kentucky, Kroger store detailed more than two dozen gun-related incidents, including resulting eight deaths, inside and outside of Kroger stores nationwide.
Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores
So much for Tesla's renewed solar power efforts getting off to a good start. Walmart has sued Tesla after rooftop solar panels on seven of the retailer's stores caught fire, allegedly due to poor safety practices. Tesla supposedly didn't ground its electrical and solar systems properly, according to Walmart, and regularly sent inspectors who "lacked basic solar training and knowledge." Walmart also asserted that Tesla's panels were rife with visible defects. The big-box chain formally accused Tesla of breach of contract, gross negligence and failure to meet industry standards.
"Retailers have been more vulnerable than manufacturers all along," Lytton said. "We now have cases testing the limits of these exceptions to the immunity bill" enacted by Congress in 2005.
Kroger does not comment on pending litigation, a spokesperson told CBS News, while saying that the grocer extended its "deepest sympathies" to the families affected by violence.
A potentially important legal precedent that could open the door to more lawsuits came in March, when the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that some claims brought by relatives of victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, could proceed. The court found that plaintiffs should have a chance to prove that the manufacturer, distributor and retailer of the assault weapon used to kill 20 children and six adults violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by marketing a weapon designed for military use to civilians.
"Firearms retailers have to follow a higher standard of care in selling a weapon, which is different than selling a stereo or a roll of toilet paper," Morantz, the attorney, said. "With a military assault rifle, there is no other purpose other than to kill and injure as many people as possible. I've contended that the retailer has to follow a high degree of suspicion just because of how dangerous these weapons are."
Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels start bursting into flames on store roofs
In something of a bizarre story, Walmart is suing Tesla after solar panels it purchased from the EV company caught fire on a number of Walmart stores. As it stands now, Tesla solar panels can be found on as many as 240 Walmart stores across the country. Following a few incidents involving seemingly spontaneous fires, Walmart now wants Tesla to remove the solar panels and foot the bill for all the corresponding damage. As a result of the fires,
"I still feel vulnerable"
Beyond their legal exposure, giant companies like Walmart also face the court of public opinion, including whether businesses are doing enough to protect its customers, employees and even the public at large.
Guns and mass shootings "have become a major cultural issue — lots of consumers are concerned about what the response is to gun violence, and litigation ties them to that," Lytton said. "Walmart doesn't want to be in the newspaper on the wrong end of the issue, so they settle."
Following the Walmart store shootings this summer, workers themselves are agitating for change. At a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, not far from the store where the recent mass shooting took place, the largely Hispanic workforce is afraid, said Gabriela Enriquez, a 10-year Walmart employee.
Since the shooting, more customers have taken to openly carrying weapons into the store, which has also seen an increase in the sale of hunting gear and weapons, said Enriquez, a leader in United for Respect, a worker advocacy group. "I still feel vulnerable. I'm not sure this isn't going to happen again," said Enriquez, who crosses the border into El Paso to work.
United for Respect is among the groups calling on Walmart to stop selling firearms, with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown on Wednesday tweeting his support for a similar campaign by Guns Down America.
Thomas Marshall, a 23-year-old category specialist in Walmart's San Bruno, California, e-commerce business, penned a letter to CEO Doug McMillon this week, saying that "Customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores. We must do more." He also passed along a Change.org petition, which has garnered 136,000 signatures, urging the company to stop selling firearms and ammunition and ban the public from carrying firearms in stores and other company property.
"The main thing we'd like is to start a conversation about the role retail plays in these mass shootings," Marshall told CBS MoneyWatch."The ammunition we sell fits not only the guns we sell, but also the guns we don't sell," said Marshall, who noted that the bullets used to kill 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 were bought a Walmart.
Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015 and raised the minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition to 21 from 18 in 2018.
Walmart did not return requests for comment. McMillon did reply to Marshall's letter, however.
"We think the steps we've taken in the past were positive ones and we're considering a number of additional steps," the chief executive said in an email. "Our No. 1 priority is safety. Sales and profit are not driving our decisions here."
Walmart is discounting the iPad Mini, iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro.
Walmart has flipped the switch early on Labor Day sales. The iPad Mini, 6th Generation iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pros are all seeing discounts.
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An off-duty police officer pulled his gun on a man buying candy at a convenience store in Southern California. The officer apparently thought a crime was ...
Cops kill man at Walmart carrying a BB gun
Police shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford who was carrying a BB gun in an Ohio Walmart after calls to 911. More from CNN at http://www.cnn.com/ To ...
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