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A former Walmart employee suing over a workplace shooting has a month to refile her complaint after a Virginia judge determined the case likely falls under the jurisdiction of workers compensation.
Briana Tyler filed a $50 million lawsuit against Walmart Inc. after she was nearly shot in November by colleague Andre Bing during a rampage that claimed the lives of six workers at a Chesapeake Walmart.
The suit was originally filed in federal court but later refiled in state court. The now-deceased Mr. Bing is also a defendant.
Walmart sought dismissal, saying Ms. Tyler’s injuries should be covered by workers comp, but Ms. Tyler argues there is an exception because she was personally targeted by Mr. Bing.
“If the attack is personal, then it is outside of the purview of the workers comp act,” said Mark Favaloro, Ms. Tyler’s attorney.
On Wednesday, a Chesapeake Circuit Court judge sustained Walmart’s demurrer seeking dismissal on the basis that the case should be comp exclusive. The judge agreed, but Ms. Tyler was given 30 days to refile the suit with additional information on why it should remain in the tort system, Mr. Favaloro said.
Ms. Tyler alleges that while the bullets missed her, she was still targeted specifically by Mr. Bing during the shooting.
“The plaintiff was able to escape the rampaging Bing by running as fast as she could, injuring both of her legs and experiencing acute chest pain while being chased by Bing,” the suit states.
The suit accuses Walmart of failing to terminate Mr. Bing even though he exhibited violent tendencies toward co-workers.