Managing safety on “Black Friday”

From a RetailWire discussion about the tragic incident at a Walmart store on “Black Friday” 2008. Should Walmart have seen this coming, and are they liable for lack of adequate planning? Here’s my point of view:

When public safety is at issue, it’s the responsibility of private enterprise to ensure good execution. Walmart or any other big box retailer would clearly be negligent if there were other hazards on its property, such as electrical problems or faulty equipment. And clearly the “Black Friday” phenomenon at Walmart and elsewhere didn’t suddenly kick into high gear in 2008…this was literally an accident waiting to happen that required better pre-planning, not hand-wringing in hindsight.

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