Doris Walker of Brooklyn claims her left knee was badly injured when chaos erupted in the line of thousands of bargain-hungry shoppers who surged into the store's cramped vestibule the day after Thanksgiving, Walker's attorney, Richard Weiss said Thursday.
The pre-dawn stampede at the store Nov. 28, 2008, left a temporary worker dead of asphyxia and led to nationwide changes in the way retailers run sales that attract big crowds.
Walker had arrived at the store at about 2:30 a.m. in the hopes of getting good deals on toys and a laptop computer for her foster children.
During the melee, she tried to hang on to a store door that was coming off its hinges to keep from falling over and hurt her knee in the process.
Walker, who worked as a manager at White Castle, has had two surgeries and missed work because of the injury, her attorney said.
"She's going to have problems with her knee for the rest of her life -- and she has a job where she's on her feet for most of the day," Weiss said. Walker declined to comment.
Corporate spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said: "We know Ms. Walker sustained injuries during the tragic incidents at our Valley Stream store. We certainly don't want our customers to have this kind of experience.
"We work hard to create a pleasant shopping experience. In fact, since that time, we've implemented crowd control measures that have worked well during our post-Thanksgiving Day events."
Jury selection is scheduled to begin May 9 in federal district court in Central Islip before Judge Sandra Feuerstein, court records show.
In the aftermath of the stampede and the death of the temporary worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. $7,000 -- the maximum allowed.
The retailer appealed to a review commission, claiming that protecting workers from crowds wasn't an established federal standard at the time of the death, but in March of this year the fine was upheld.