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"Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide"

 
 
fishin
 
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 04:37 pm
Quote:
Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide

Schizophrenic woman bought gun at store

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 Posted: 9:21 PM EST (0221 GMT)

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Near the end of her short life, Shayla Stewart, a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, assaulted police officers and was arrested for attacking a fellow customer at a Denton Wal-Mart where she had a prescription for anti-psychotic medication.

Given all those signs, her parents say, another Wal-Mart just seven miles away should have never sold her the shotgun she used to kill herself at age 24 in 2003.

Her mother, Lavern Bracy, is suing the world's biggest store chain for $25 million, saying clerks should have known about her daughter's illness or done more to find out.

Complete CNN story here


Is there any real legal basis for this suit or is this just a distraught mother lashing out in pain over her daughter's death?

Legally, Walmart is prohibited from checking their pharmacy records (in TX at least) for anything other than pharmacy business.

Should every clerk at major department stores be given access to people's medical info so they can cross check to see what meds you are taking if you show up to buy a firearm? Does this woman really think these clerks are qualified to make medical decisions based on what perscriptions people take?

I understand there may be some questions about the completeness of the paperwork that this girl completed when she bought the shotgun but I'm at a loss to see how Walmart can be held responsible for not dooing something they are prohibited from doing by law.

Any input from the legal beagles? Smile
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,694 • Replies: 58
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ForeverYoung
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 04:49 pm
Re: "Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide"
fishin' wrote:
I understand there may be some questions about the completeness of the paperwork that this girl completed when she bought the shotgun but I'm at a loss to see how Walmart can be held responsible for not dooing something they are prohibited from doing by law.


From what I know of the case, the woman who committed suicide completed the papers, but lied about her psychiatric history.

I don't think a lawsuit can be won by the mother.

(However, I am not a lawyer: I only play one on PC. :wink: )
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 04:49 pm
Opening the door to allow inspections of pharmacy or other medical records is just too scary to imagine.

I'm not a legal beagle but I'm interested so I'm just going to hang out, listen and learn.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 04:57 pm
Re: "Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide"
Just a distraught mother lashing out in pain over her daughter's death... and further evidence that Michael Moore is an a$$.

And I second this;
ForeverYoung wrote:
(However, I am not a lawyer: I only play one on PC. :wink: )
Very clever!
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ForeverYoung
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:00 pm
Re: "Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide"
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Just a distraught mother lashing out in pain over her daughter's death... and further evidence that Michael Moore is an a$$.

And I second this;
ForeverYoung wrote:
(However, I am not a lawyer: I only play one on PC. :wink: )
Very clever!



ooooooooooooooh, I might have another friend here. Thanks! :wink:
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:00 pm
I'm no Wal-Mart fan, but this seems like a case without merit. Somebody said anybody can sue, you don't need to have a case. Guess that's what has happened here.

As Boomerang says, opening pharmaceutical/ medical records to gun clerks is a very bad idea. It would be good to have a way to keep emotionally-unstable people from buying guns, but I don't know how best to accomplish that.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:01 pm
This seems like a ridiculous lawsuit to me. Amost as ridiculous as Bill relating it to Michael Moore.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:02 pm
I can't imagine this being a basis for suit. As they say, though, some lawyers will try anything.

I have wondered about the position of a gun dealer who "just feels wrong" about a buyer. Can they decline the sale without violating someone's civil rights? Not really a position I envy.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:02 pm
Agreed x 2, kicky...
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:10 pm
Yeah, I dunno. IMO, there is no way in he11 that any clerk should ever be given access to anyone's records.

I could understand if the mother was suing the State of TX for refusing to provide the records to the FBI's NICS (The database that was created by the Brady Gun Bill that every clerk must get approval through to sell a firearm) or even if she was suing the FBI for failing to force TX to send them the records but I don't see how they can sue Walmart for this.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:12 pm
Re: "Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide"
ForeverYoung wrote:
From what I know of the case, the woman who committed suicide completed the papers, but lied about her psychiatric history.


I heard a story on the radio news this afternoon that Walmart had sent the girl in question a letter some 6 months after she had killed herself asking her to come back to the store because there was some sort of problem with the paperwork. I haven't heard/seen that anywhere else yet but I'm sure if it happened it'll come out when the suit gets into a courtroom.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:16 pm
Back when I was reading a lot of law regarding guardianships I remember coming across laws regarding guardianships of mentally ill adults.

If the parents had established a guardianship of their daughter would she still have passed the background check?
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:29 pm
Wait a minute. So Wal-Mart is off the hook? I can just walk in, fill out some papers and buy a gun at Wal-Mart? Does that sound sick and scary to anyone else?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:32 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
Wait a minute. So Wal-Mart is off the hook? I can just walk in, fill out some papers and buy a gun at Wal-Mart? Does that sound sick and scary to anyone else?


Walmart is required, by law, to contact the NICS system and request an approval/disapproval and it appears that that was done.

What more would you suggest the clerk at Walmart do?
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ForeverYoung
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:33 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
Wait a minute. So Wal-Mart is off the hook? I can just walk in, fill out some papers and buy a gun at Wal-Mart?


As long as the store selling the gun follows the laws of the state in which it is located, you are correct. Generally, there is a 15-day waiting period and, definitely, anyone can file a suit .... but, unless gun laws are changed in the future, again, your statement about Wal-Mart is correct.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:33 pm
kickycan wrote:
This seems like a ridiculous lawsuit to me. Amost as ridiculous as Bill relating it to Michael Moore.


Yeah, kicky, I was wondering the same thing about Bill and his Michael Moore statement. Where'd he pull that one from? Was there some mention of Moore in the story?

Michael Moore is hated by a lot of people, me excluded, but to associate him with this case seems beyond ludicrous.

I think Bill better loosen that cheese wedge a couple of notches.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:34 pm
If what fishin' heard was true - if there were problems with the paperwork and Walmart sent a letter to notify the girl of the problem then they might not be so off the hook after all.

I would imagine that gun sellers have an obligation to ensure that the paperwork is not in itself a problem before selling the gun.

If this report is true then I would think Walmart might have some liability.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:34 pm
If you are buying a rifle, it isnt the same requirements as a handgun. No matter where you buy it. Walmart included.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:34 pm
boomerang wrote:
If the parents had established a guardianship of their daughter would she still have passed the background check?


From reading the original article that wouldn't show up in the NICS system because TX refuses to provide the data to them.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 05:44 pm
hmm, i'm sure there are laws. i just find it disturbing that walmart sells guns at all. i find the gun laws in america disturbing too, though. and i do hope one case makes it one day to the supreme court and legislature on gun control gets way tougher. this case is just an illustration of how easy it is to get a gun in this country.
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