Family of Joplin tornado victim sues Wal-Mart

Monday, September 17, 2012 | 11:30 a.m. CDT; updated 12:50 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 17, 2012

JOPLIN— The wife and daughter of man killed inside a Walmart store when a massive tornado hit Joplin are suing the world's largest retailer.

The Joplin Globe reported that the wrongful death lawsuit names as defendants Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the store's manager. The case was transferred Friday to federal court. It initially was filed in Jasper County Circuit Court.

The suit alleges 62-year-old Stanley Kirk wasn't allowed to leave the store and was directed to an unsafe location. Court records say Kirk lived only three miles away, "or a seven-minute drive," in an area that was not hit by the May 2011 tornado. Three died at the Walmart.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said in a statement that the company stands behind its employees and how they handled the disaster.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

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