Retailer asks Texas Supreme Court to block lawyers for victims from asking about internal security data, violent crime at other Walmart stores
EL PASO, Texas – Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has again gone to the Texas Supreme Court to avoid answering tough questions related to the mass shooting at the El Paso Cielo Vista store in 2019.
Despite rulings from an El Paso trial court and the Texas 8th Court of Appeals that the retailer should provide details about violent crime and security issues at other Walmart stores, the company’s lawyers are fighting to avoid making those details public. The legal maneuvers are in response to lawsuits filed by victims, family members and survivors of the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting that led to the deaths of 23 shoppers.
According to the lawsuits, Walmart created a “crime magnet,” placing profits over safety by not providing adequate private security at the Cielo Vista location. The retailer instead relied on taxpayer-funded police to respond to violent crimes after the fact at the store, which is one of the busiest in the nation.
This is the second time this year that Walmart has asked the Texas Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings and shield it from releasing information sought by attorneys representing victims and their families. Those two appeals are pending.
“There’s a reason Walmart doesn’t want a jury to see this information,” said trial lawyer Majed Nachawati, co-founder of Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm, which represents several shooting victims and their families. “The company knows it failed to provide adequate security despite violent crime at its stores. These families – and Walmart’s loyal customers – deserve to know the truth.”
Accused gunman Patrick Crusius told police after his arrest that he traveled to El Paso and chose the Walmart because he was looking for a “soft target” for his plan to kill “Mexicans.” He reportedly told authorities that he was surprised no one challenged him when he entered the store carrying an AK-47 assault rifle.
The case in In re Walmart Inc. & Wal-Mart Stores Tex. LLC, Tex. App., No. 08-20-00191-CV in the Supreme Court of Texas.
Fears Nachawati Law Firm represents individuals in mass-tort litigation, businesses and governmental entities in contingent litigation, and individual victims in complex personal injury litigation. The largest and most diverse products liability law firm in the nation, Fears Nachawati was ranked No. 1 nationally in products liability filings in federal court over the past three years. For more information visit https://www.fnlawfirm.com.