Walmart asks judge to throw out lawsuits over Virginia mass shooting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Attorneys for Walmart are asking for lawsuits filed against the company by associates in the wake of the November mass shooting in Chesapeake, Va., to be thrown out.

In recent court filings, attorneys with the retail giant said that while they are “appalled and horrified” by the actions of the shooter, those employees seeking money should be filing workers’ compensation claims, calling that path the “exclusive remedy.”

Walmart’s attorneys argue that negligent hiring and retention are not valid causes to sue.

Complete coverage of the Chesapeake Walmart mass shooting

It was on the night of November 22 that Andre Bing fatally shot six and injured at least two others before turning the gun on himself at the Walmart off of Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake. Bing, 31, was a team lead for the overnight shift there and had worked there for 12 years. He wrote of being harassed before the incident.

Three associates – Donya Prioleau, James Kelly, and Briana Marie Tyler – were all in the store’s employee breakroom when the shooting began, according to their suits.

They are each suing Walmart for $50 million in damages, saying the company was negligent when hiring the shooter. The complaints allege Walmart was aware of his “violent tendencies towards co-workers,” and how he was “mentally unstable,” but did nothing and allowed him to continue being an employee.

Walmart lawsuit claims company should have ordered mental health evaluation

While none of the three who have filed suit so far were shot, all detail a myriad of PTSD-related symptoms. They also detail physical injuries attributed to trying to get away from the shooter.

Walmart attorneys argue it already funds workers’ compensation coverage to all of its employees for “injuries of deaths” that occur “including those that are the result of intentional assaults by coworkers.”

A judge has yet to rule on the motion.

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