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Walmart asks judge to dismiss employee lawsuits over Chesapeake mass shooting

The exterior of a Walmart in Chesapeake at night.
An overnight team leader killed six other Walmart employees and injured several more at a store in Chesapeake during November. (File photo: Ryan Murphy/WHRO News)

Walmart says the three employees who sued the company alleging it could have taken steps to prevent a November mass shooting don’t have standing to bring those suits.

The retail giant is asking a judge to dismiss the trio of $50-million lawsuits in a series of requests filed this week.

The suits stem from the Nov. 22 shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake’s Greenbrier area. Six employees were killed and several more were injured when an overnight team leader opened fire in an employee break room.

Walmart has argued that because the shooting occurred among employees while they were at work, the incident falls under worker compensation.

The company said that means the employees have to go through that system for relief, and state law indicates the employees can’t sue the company.

So far, three employees of the store — James Kelly, Donya Prioleau and Brianna Marie Taylor — have all sued Walmart alleging the same basic set of facts.

The lawsuits claim the shooter exhibited bizarre and threatening behavior and that employees reported that to managers ahead of the shooting. They contend the shooter was known as a cruel supervisor, who would retaliate against others for perceived slights.

The suits argue Walmart was negligent in continuing to employ the shooter, and the company bears some responsibility for the shooting.

All three employees are being represented by the same law firm, Washington, D.C.-based Morgan and Morgan.

Read the original story on the WHRO website.