The Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Injuries and Deaths That You Won’t Believe

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Each year in the United States, the holiday shopping season officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. But in recent years, “Black Friday,” as it’s known to retailers and shoppers alike, has started earlier and earlier, and now Thanksgiving is known as “Black Thursday” for some people. Shoppers and retail workers forgo the turkey to brave the crowds at malls and big box stores.

But not only has Black Friday encroached upon a sacred American tradition — it’s also become such a big deal for retailers that the event is dangerous. There’s even a website ( that tracks the number of deaths and injuries caused by hazardous shopping conditions, which often present workplace safety issues for retail employees.

To illustrate just how serious this violent form of consumerism is in American society, here are the top 5 Black Friday shopping injuries and deaths according to their severity:

#5: 40+ People Pepper Sprayed in LA and North Carolina

Talk about competitive shopping: a woman in a Los Angeles-area Walmart released pepper spray to drive away fellow shoppers, so she could grab video game consoles and toys. Nearby customers choked on the air, and some who were sprayed directly had red, swollen faces. Meanwhile, an off-duty cop in North Carolina also pepper-sprayed consumers in a Walmart store, allegedly to break up a fight. Both incidents occurred in 2011.

#4: 11-Year-Old Sent to Hospital

In 2013, an 11-year-old girl was sent to the hospital with injuries sustained when the doors to a local Walmart opened on the night of Thanksgiving. Information about the girl wasn’t released to the press, due to HIPAA laws. Another incident also occurred at the same store that night involving an elderly woman, who was also injured by fellow shoppers.

#3: Woman Sustains Head Injury from Falling TV After Fight

Apparently Black Friday madness isn’t only a U.S. issue. Shoppers in the United Kingdom also fought over items at retail giant Tesco in 2014. Incidents occurred all over the U.K., but most notable injuries were a broken wrist, a head injury due to a TV that fell from a shelf, several public brawls, and a group of 200 shoppers who refused to leave a store after being told items were out of stock.

#2: Walmart Worker Trampled on Black Friday

In 2008, a Long Island Walmart employee was trampled to death when the store opened for business. The 34-year-old worker was rushed by more than 200 shoppers, who were also responsible for injuring four other people in the incident. The employee was a temporary maintenance worker, who was left gasping for air as customers continued to stream past.

#1: Trampling Death of 61-Year-Old Man

Taking the number one spot on the list of the top 5 Black Friday shopping injuries and deaths is the trampling death of 61-year-old Walter Vance at a Target store in West Virginia back in 2011. The tragic incident sparked national outcry from people who wondered how so many people could have stepped over an older man without noticing that he needed help. Vance’s wife, however, told local news stations that six nurses shopping at the store had come to his rescue and performed CPR on him until the ambulance could arrive.

Have you been hurt on the property of a commercial business? If so, you’ll want to ensure that you have the best personal injury attorneys on your side to get the settlement you need from medical insurance companies. Want to weigh in on the top 5 Black Friday shopping injuries? Leave a comment below.

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