Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,713

    Default Mom sue's Wal Mart over daughters suicide

    DALLAS - 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.

    Photo
    AP Photo



    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.

    The case, filed earlier this month, has reignited a debate over the confidentiality of mental health records and the effectiveness of background checks on would-be buyers of guns.

    "We know that if they had so much as said, `Why do you want this?' we would not be having this conversation because Shayla would have had a meltdown," said her stepfather, Garrett Bracy.

    The Bracys said Wal-Mart's gun department could have checked Wal-Mart's own security files or the pharmacy department's prescription records before selling her the weapon.

    Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Gallagher declined to comment on the lawsuit.

    But pharmacy prescription records are confidential under a 1996 federal law, so stores cannot use them when deciding whether to sell a gun.

    Also, Wal-Mart did a background check on Stewart, as required under federal law, but through no fault of its own, her name did not show up in the FBI (news - web sites) database. The reason: The database contains no mental health records from Texas and 37 other states.

    Texas does not submit mental health records because state law deems them confidential, said Paul Mascot, an attorney with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Other states have not computerized their record-keeping systems or do not store them in a central location for use by the FBI.

    Federal law prohibits stores from selling guns to people who, like Stewart, have a history of serious mental illness.

    Would-be buyers must fill out a form that asks about mental health. On Stewart's form, a box that asked whether she had been involuntarily committed to an institution or declared dangerously mentally ill by a judge was incorrectly marked no. (Her mother's attorneys question whether Stewart filled out the form herself or a clerk did it for her.) Wal-Mart ran a background check anyway, as required by federal law.

    Michael Faenza, president and chief executive of the National Mental Health Association, applauds Texas' refusal to share information with the FBI database. He said it would not be fair to violate patients' privacy when there is no data to support claims that mentally ill people are more violent than others.

    "The tragedies that families face when people are killed is terrible. And frankly I wish handguns were not so available in this country," he said. "But it's not right, in our minds, to make social policy based on just a few cases."

    Garrett Bracy couldn't disagree more.

    He and his wife watched his stepdaughter's six-year decline from straight-A high school student to violent and unpredictable stranger. She was hospitalized five times, twice under court orders. Her longest hospitalization, lasting a month, came in 2002 after she refused to leave her room or take her medication.

    The suggestion that Wal-Mart should have checked prescription records infuriates Erich Pratt, a spokesman for the Virginia-based group Gun Owners of America.



    "Does that mean mental illness prevents everyone on Prozac from owning a gun? Or women with PMS?" he said.

    Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., who ran for Congress after her husband was killed and son wounded in 1993 by a gunman on a Long Island Rail Road train, wants to strengthen the federal background check system by encouraging states to share mental health records. She has introduced legislation that would give states grants to automate and turn over the information.

    She drafted the bill after a priest and a parishioner were shot to death by a schizophrenic man in a New York church in 2002. He, too, should not have been allowed to buy a gun.

    "When you see these deaths that could have been prevented it's a shame," McCarthy said.

    As the Bracys prepare for another Christmas without their daughter, they are urging lawmakers to support McCarthy's bill and dealers to conduct their own background checks.

    "Lavern went to the store the other day to buy over-the-counter headache sinus medication and they limited the amount of sinus medication she could buy at one time," her husband said, his voice trembling with emotion. "But Shayla can walk into a store and buy a gun and they could care less. That's got to change."

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...us/gun_lawsuit


    Please dont take this as I am being insenitive. It is a tragedy that someones life degraded to the point where they wanted to take it but,I am confused, where is it Wal-Marts fault if they followed the letter of the law?
    Gun owners?
    Last edited by stm4710; 12-21-2004 at 09:57 PM.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.


  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile Coupla Things.......................

    You're sharing a news item, and asking a question. I don't take that as insensitive. First, there is a thing which is called the "Shotgun approach" (I'm sorry, but that's what it's called) Lawyers use this as naming everone/everything that could remotely have touched a situation. In this case, that would be WalMart, the Clerks who were involved in the paperwork trail, their supervisors, Supervisor's Supervisors, and so on up the chain. The Gun manufacturer, Distributor, Etc. Etc. Etc. You get the idea. The push is always to settle out of court, and it's always about money, to be specific, about the Lawyers share. If Walmart did it by the book, they'll beat it. Problem is, a lot of people/businesses will settle out of court, just to get it over with. This, IMHO, is one thing that needs to be addressed in a major reform of our legal system.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  3. #3
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    726

    Default

    This is a Stella Liebeck & McDonalds hot coffee situation. Find the deepest pockets & tell a sob story. I will never diminish anyone's right to life (with the exception of felons, but that's another thread!), but it does not seem to be a wrongful death that is made all better from this suit. Unless Walmart is found to be wrong in some portion of the process, then I can't see where they are any more responsible than you or I. A settlement ends up being the quietest way to go quite frequently, but it leaves the suggestion of blame in the hands of Walmart (or my coffee example from McDonalds). This is among the worst of our legal system, attempts to discredit a major organization that has likely not done anything wrong. I'd be interested to hear how this turns out.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  4. #4
    Forum Member Co11FireGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Country Roads, Take Me Home...
    Posts
    721

    Angry

    Frivolous lawsuit strikes again! I'm sure that many advocate groups will turn it into a gun issue...even though it's not.

    So, what if they didn't sell her the gun? If she really wanted to die she would have found another way. What would have stopped her from going to the OTC drug aisle and buying enough of something to OD? What would have stopped her from going to the camping aisle and buying some rope? Or to the kitchen aisle and buying a knife? I guess that would have been Wal-mart's fault too... So the cashier is supposed to ask every person who goes through the line with somethig potentially hazardous (which is just about anything) why they want it?? Un'freakin'believable...

    I'm sorry that someone took their life. I'm sure it's very difficult for the family, and I feel for them. I really do. BUT, to blame it on Wal-mart to make a quick buck? Or 25 million? What a joke!
    Last edited by Co11FireGal; 12-22-2004 at 01:05 AM.
    IACOJ

    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central ND USA
    Posts
    451

    Default

    I feel for the family, to lose someone close is tragic. But I have to agree 100% with Co11firegal, this person thought that was they way it had to be she woulda found a way to do it no matter what. I can hardly wait to see what the anti gun people are going to do with this.

  6. #6
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    St Gabriel, La
    Posts
    708

    Default

    And the whole time I'm reading this I'm wondering how much the family is asking for the shotgun and if has been cleaned since the suicide. It's important to get the blood and other debris off as soon as possible as it will pit the gun and ruin the finish. I know someone who is a death investigator for the coroner's office and is often offered guns used in suicides by family members for little or nothing. But it is important to get the weapons cleaned quickly. Sure beats paying Pawn Shop prices.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    The anti-gun zealots will be out in force on this one. But this almost isn't even an anti-gun issue. Its a business issue. The federal, state and local governments make laws. A business is required to use due dilligence and follow those laws. The funny thing is that the same people who are totally anti-gun, are usually the same anti-Patriot Act types who think the government should have no access into your private medical files.

    This story will be given tons of press time in the next couple of days and then go away. However, in a few months, when the case is summarily dismissed, you won't read a thing.

    The lawyers are going to be the death of this country.

    Oh yeah, cellblock...you're an idiot.

  8. #8
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Oh yeah, cellblock...you're an idiot.
    The holidays are bringing out the classic character. He was doing so well before. Did he forget his medication or miss a therapy session?
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    I too have no sympathy for someone who chooses the selfish act of suicide. I have had two friends who chose this route because it was the easy way out of their problems. I find sucicidal people cowards who are afraid of facing their problems. Like Cellblock said, how much for the shotgun? Who cares about the selfish skell who killed herself, now leaving her family emotionally damaged for life.


    Now, onto the topic...


    If Wal-Mart Followed the rules properly, than how could they be at fault? I mean if anyone needs to be sued, it is the State that refused to relenquish the Mental Health records or whoever came up with HIPAA.

    I am sure the family is grieveing, and I feel bad for them, but I hope they don't get a red cent.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  10. #10
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,236

    Default

    Things just seem to continue to spiral out of whack. Sue for this, sue for that...I'm thinking the Grizzly Adams lifestyle is the way to go anymore.

    George, I second your idiocy motion.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

  11. #11
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    4,713

    Default

    So a bill in congress wants to make it OK for personal health information to be released for firearms background checks. What about HIPPA, as mentioned? The patient or gaurdian must authorize the release of this information, so how can that be? Not to mention that it is of NO ONE'S concern what medications I or anyone else in the world is taking. Who is to say that it is not going to be abused at any Wal-Mart? There are a few thousand of these stores, add to that probably about 6 or 8 people alone in the sporting goods, plus management personnel. You tell me there will be no abuse.

    I agree with George here as well on an issue, the anti gun peaceniks are going to be all over this. Lawuits are the best way to bankrupt the firearms industry at any level. At least Wal-Mart does not settle lawsuits as far as I know. Not a bad philosophy for businesses is it? That is part of the reason Wal-Mart is not sued more frequently.

    I do have one question for the family - certainly no one is totally to blame for this incident happening - but if you knew your daughter was so mentally disturbed and non compliant with her own medications, explain to me why you did not watch her more closely? Wal-Mart sells how many weapons every year and has to watch how many people that purchase these rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and even knives? You expect them to watch them all and be responsible for the failures inherent in the laws that politicians pas? Why did you not watch your daughter more closely? Why did you not know that she was planning to harm herself? Why did you not try to have her committed again to protect herself?

    Everyone has a part in this, so be careful ho wyou go after this.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by StayBack500FT
    Things just seem to continue to spiral out of whack. Sue for this, sue for that...I'm thinking the Grizzly Adams lifestyle is the way to go anymore.

    George, I second your idiocy motion.
    I respectfully request to amend my motion to include Tiller Boy.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    Thanks George, I feel priveleged to be a part of your motion. Maybe you can be like another person on here and put me on your ignore list. I feel proud to be aligned with people such as scfire86 and ThNozzleman when it comes to you. scfire86 has more integrity than you will ever have Mr. Ego Maniac.


    And BTW, DaSharkie, Excellent Post!
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Thanks George, I feel priveleged to be a part of your motion. Maybe you can be like another person on here and put me on your ignore list. I feel proud to be aligned with people such as scfire86 and ThNozzleman when it comes to you. scfire86 has more integrity than you will ever have Mr. Ego Maniac.


    And BTW, DaSharkie, Excellent Post!
    Whatever, Skippy.

  15. #15
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,236

    Default

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Who cares about the selfish skell who killed herself, now leaving her family emotionally damaged for life.


    I agree they should not be compensated...let that be said first.


    Tiller...I am sorry for the losses you have been dealt in the past, BUT those losses do not make you an authority on the issue. Chemical imbalances in the brain that sometimes lead to suicidal tendencies DO NOT EQUAL SELFISHNESS. If you have no sympathy for them...so be it...but the same hard-heartedness should be shown for cancer victims, Muscular Dystrophy patients...etc..etc...because they all have something THEY...CANNOT...CONTROL!!!!

    Who cares? you ask.

    For the record...I care.
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 12-22-2004 at 01:56 PM.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

  16. #16
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    WOW another firecracker topic, I also agree that they should not be compensated anything as WalMart followed procedure for the sale. As far as suicide goes, sometimes it is a selfish act, other times it is not, and I think that this time it is NOT. And Sharkie the reason it is WalMart's fault ? ............Simply because NO ONE anymore seems to be repsonsible for their own actions, sad as it may be.
    Last edited by Weruj1; 12-22-2004 at 02:19 PM.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  17. #17
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    4,713

    Default

    And Sharkie the reason it is WalMart's fault ? ............Simply because NO ONE anymore seems to be repsonsible for their own actions, sad as it may be.
    Pardon the poor grammar but......

    Ain't that the truth.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber Medic162's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Charleston S.C>
    Posts
    258

    Default

    This story reminds me of the bumper sticker I snuck onto one of our ambulances:

    -in tiny print-

    "If you can read this... You must be a lawyer"
    Brian Rowe
    Paramedic/Engineer
    Colleton County Fire/Rescue

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts