February 29, 2016
After the death of three people in a shooting rampage, family members are filing a lawsuit, alleging that a Walmart employee negligently sold ammunition to an intoxicated and underage customer.
They filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Philadelphia on Dec. 31, 2015, stating that the cashier sold ammunition to a 20-year-old man on July 5, 2015. The worker did not ask the man his age or seek any identification and did not question his impaired condition. Apparently, the man had been in a bar for a minimum of four hours just before he went to Walmart, so the store should have refused to sell him the ammunition.
An hour after the purchase, three people were dead from multiple gunshot wounds. However, the buyer subsequently gave the ammo to his cousin, who then used the bullets. Neither of these two men was named in the lawsuit. The cousin admitted his involvement in the shooting after authorities found his vehicle the next day containing the gun, purchased ammo and cartridge casings. Autopsies of all three victims showed that the bullets in their bodies matched those purchased from Walmart.
A 22-year-old victim was shot right in front of his home, and although emergency personnel rushed him to the hospital, he died while there. Only 20 minutes later, another man and a woman were killed in a drive-by shooting.
The family members have asked for unspecified compensation, including punitive sanctions, in the wrongful death lawsuit, naming the cashier, the sporting goods manager, the general manager and the store in the lawsuit. They claimed that the named defendants should have realized that the man would probably hurt others with the ammo.
The Walmart national media relations director countered the allegations, stating that the cashier verified the customer’s age, and he claimed he bought the bullets for a rifle. The legal purchase age for ammo for the weapon is 18. He added that the customer did not show signs of inebriation. However, the firearms information on the Pennsylvania State Police website does not specify age distinctions when buying ammunition.
After a wrongful death due to a person or company’s negligence, the survivors can seek compensation for related losses, such as earnings, funeral costs and loss of companionship. Our personal injury attorney can provide clients with guidance after these tragic events.