MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) - An hour before a Black Friday crowd of "Blitz shoppers" crashed through a Wal-Mart door and trampled a security guard to death, a woman in the moiling masses assaulted an aunt and her niece, according to a $35 million claim in Federal Court. They say Wal-Mart and the Green Acres Mall encouraged the mayhem by heavily promoting their "blitz sale."
Jennifer Jones says an unknown assailant punched her in the face, breaking her glasses, and punched out her niece, then dragged the niece up by her hair and knocked her down again, as they stood helplessly, pressed by the crowd of 2,000 people 10 feet from the Wal-Mart door at 3:45 a.m. on Nov. 28.
They claim Wal-Mart knew its ad campaign would whip up "a large crowd and atmosphere of hysteria and chaos. ... (T)he defendant had strived very hard to create a menacing, unruly crowd and knew that its labors might well succeed," the complaint states."
It continues: "the defendant expected the mayhem to occur and intentionally disregarded the risks associated with the so-called 'blitz' sale."
Plaintiffs claim the crowd of 2,000 began gathering outside the Wal-Mart at 1 a.m. "During those hours, the defendant allowed and/or caused to be taped next to the doors a handwritten sign saying, 'Blitz Line Starts Here.' The defendant's intentional sensationalism of a sales event - during very tough economic times - was about to cause mayhem, injury and death," according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs are represented by Bruce Baron of Brooklyn.
Here are the defendants: Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Arbor Property Trust; EQK Green Acres LP; Securitas Security Services USA Inc.; Jane Doe, being an unknown assailant.
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