Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2018
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

1999-05-01
Beaumont, TX. Wal-Mart Slapped with $18 M Fine

You can buy a lot of legal advice for $18 million, but will Wal-Mart get the message? A judge in a Beaumont, Texas case recently fined Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. the sum of $18 million after the judge concluded that Wal-Mart and its attorneys had witheld evidence in the case. In a court case, the "discovery" process is the opportunity for both parties to ask for background information, research, testimony, etc to bolster their case. Wal-Mart has been sanctioned at least twice before in Texas courts, according to Bob Van Voris of the National Law Journal.In 1996, Wal-Mart was fined $120,000 for discovery violations in a sexual harassment case. In that case, Wal-Mart withheld the company's manual on sexual harassment. The judge said "rarely has this court seen such a pattern of deliberate obfuscation, delay, misrepresentation, and downright lying to another party and to a court." When Wal-Mart appealed to a higher court, the court upheld the $120,000 fine and the $656,000 sexual harassment claim against Wal-Mart. In another case in Jackson County, Texas, the judge fined Wal-Mart $104,120, plus $1,000 a day for every day the company failed to produce material. The judge in that case said "Wal-Mart has chosen extreme discovery abuse as a litigation strategy. Van Voris writes that Wal-Mart's legal department has 26 lawyers grooming as many as 10,000 open cases -- most of which are personal injury cases (see newsflash article below about falling merchandise). Wal-Mart also retains more than 100 lawfirms across the country to represent them. The Texas lawsuit that led to the $18 million fine, was the case of Donna Meissner, who sued Wal-Mart for having inadequate security in their parking lot after she was kidnapped in the superstore's parking lot, and then raped. Meissner tried to get Wal-Mart to produce a copy of a survey that Wal-Mart conducted in 1993 that showed 80% of the crimes there happen in the parking lots. Meissner's lawyers claimed that Wal-Mart was giving different courts across the nation different answers on similar discovery requests about crime at Wal-Mart. The judge who imposed the $18 million fine said: "I hope the stockholders learn about this, and I hope some pressure is applied to Wal-Mart to make it behave as a responsible corporate citizen." The National Law Journal cites 6 cases of discovery fines against Wal-Mart between 1996 and the present. Three were in Texas, one in Nebraska, Florida and Nevada. In those cases, Wal-Mart was fined for a pattern of false and misleading discovery answers, producing an altered videotape, refusing to produce a nationwide list of falling merchandise cases, and repeated failures to obey judges' orders for discovery.

What you can do: Q: How many Wal-Mart lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: thousands. One to hold the lightbulb, the rest to try and rotate the earth. For more information about what one judge called Wal-Mart's "corporate policy" of witholding evidence, see the National Law Journal article at nlj.com










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289