Walmart Shooting Victim Files $50M Lawsuit, Claiming Walmart Was Warned About Shooter’s Violent Behavior
Walmart has found itself the target of a $50 million lawsuit after a former team leader, 31-year-old Andre Bing of the Chesapeake, Va, supercenter shot up the store on November 23, killing six of his coworkers and injuring several others before taking his own life.
The lawsuit was filed by Walmart employee Donya Prioleau who was in the break room where the shooting unfolded. Prioleau described the horrific event saying that she witnessed Bing enter the breakroom and discriminately shoot at his co-workers. Prioleau recounts seeing her co-workers getting hit with bullets as they fell to the ground. After the shooting broke out, Prioleau ran out of the break room, later falling and injuring herself.
Prioleau claims that Walmart was negligent because they hired and continued to keep the shooter employed despite written and verbal complaints that were shared with the company against the shooter months before the horrific event.
The lawsuit argues that Walmart should have known about the “violent propensities” of the shooter and that they failed to "enact any preventative measures to keep Walmart customers and employees safe."
Prioleau contends that in the months leading up to the shooting, she filed a written complaint about the shooter. In her complaint, Prioleau shared that the shooter made concerning comments including asking whether or not she liked guns and whether she or other workers had ever received active shooter training. At one point Prioleau’s mother came into the store and complained to a manager that she “was very concerned for her daughter’s safety” according to the complaint.
Prioleau goes on to explain in the suit that Bing had harassed her on numerous occasions for her age and appearance. According to the lawsuit, following her complaint, the shooter’s “behavior prior to the shooting put Walmart on notice that Mr. Bing was violent and could harm others."
The lawsuit goes on to say that "Walmart knew or should have known about Mr. Bing's disturbing and threatening behavior, but failed to terminate Mr. Bing, restrict his access to common areas, conduct a thorough background investigation, or subject him to a mental health examination."
Following the shooting, officials found a suicide note in the killer's phone which outlined a number of employees he had issues with. Prioleau referenced this note in the lawsuit, explaining that the shooter had a "personal vendetta against several Walmart employees and kept a 'kill list' of potential targets prior to the shooting."
In a statement shared with the Washington Post, attorneys John Morgan and Peter Anderson add, “While the cruelty of murdering six defenseless people is truly unimaginable, Ms. Prioleau alleges that she and her co-workers had been concerned for months that such an incident could occur at any time.”
Following news of the lawsuit, Walmart issued a statement that explained, "The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of the valued members of our team. Our deepest sympathies go out to our associates and everyone impacted, including those who were injured. We are focused on supporting all our associates with significant resources, including counseling. We are reviewing the Complaint and will be responding as appropriate with the court."