After making national headlines, the events of the El Paso shooting became common knowledge to New York residents. A man who claimed to be targeting Mexicans opened fire in a Wal-Mart store, killing 22 and wounding several others. A lawsuit brought by two of the wounded shoppers sought judgment against the retailer for premises liability resulting from inadequate security. A Walmart spokesman signaled the company’s willingness to work with authorities in documenting the event. Since the August 30 filing of the claim, Walmart has also pledged to stop selling certain ammunition and issued statements against open carry.
At the time of the Reuters article, the male plaintiff was listed in critical condition. His injuries involved a gunshot in the spinal region. His wife was shot in the legs and had already been released from care. Their children were with them at the time of the attack, but there was no mention of their ages or injuries.
Liability lawsuits are often concerned with accident injuries, such as the slip-and-fall, but gunshot wounds and other maliciously motivated injuries may also be compensated when negligence can be demonstrated. The lawsuit requested an injunction to stop planned renovations from destroying evidence from the shooting. It also sought internal information regarding any changes made to security practices after a hostage situation at an Amarillo Walmart in 2016. A compensation amount had not been attached to the claim at the time of the report.
As a case like this makes clear, determining liability for an injury is not always straightforward. A lack of basic security, even inadequate lighting in a parking lot, may result in a court finding of negligence against a business or property owner. New York residents who suffer injuries due to malicious activities of a third party may be eligible for compensation from multiple sources, including a negligent property owner.