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Queens Lawmakers Propose "Doorbuster Bill"

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In response to the tragedy last week in which Jdimytai Damour, a Wal-Mart worker in Long Island, was trampled and died on Black Friday, Queens lawmakers are discussing legislation that would mandate retailers (and presumably mall owners) have greater security in place during Doorbuster specials.

New York City Councilman James Gennaro (D- Fresh Meadows) held a midday news conference on the steps of City Hall to announce his plans to craft a "Doorbuster Bill" that would require retailers to enact greater security measures during major sales.

Hours later, in response to a Newsday inquiry, Nassau Executive Thomas Suozzi said he and the legislature's Presiding Officer Diane Yatauro will meet today to "discuss possible legislation to prevent something so tragic from happening again." The statement gave no details.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy also said Sunday officials will research the need for a similar local law.

It should be noted that most retailers and malls already do heighten security during the holiday season. However, as the Wal-Mart incident shows, when you whip people into a frenzy, no amount of security will suffice. Doorbuster specials--selling a handful of items at deep discounts, say 10 laptops or plasma TVs--spur large crowds. In a recessionary environment, people are even more desperate to save money.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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