$65M Lawsuit Blames BJ’s Wholesale Club in Virginia Slaying

April 25, 2008

A Virgina woman who was shot and wounded by her estranged husband after he killed her sister has filed a $65 million lawsuit against the BJ’s Wholesale Club where the crimes happened.

Karen Phillips was an employee at the Chesapeake store in April 2006. In her lawsuit, she says BJ’s knew about the danger posed by her estranged husband, James Phillips, but failed to protect her. A hearing on the case is scheduled for next month in Norfolk Circuit Court.

According to the lawsuit, James Phillips had been removed from the store at least three times for threatening actions and had made threatening phone calls the day of the shootings. According to testimony at James Phillips’ trial, he waited outside the store and shot Linda Baggett as she came to pick her up her sister. Afterward, he went inside to shoot Karen Phillips.

James Phillips was convicted in both shootings last year.

An attorney for BJ’s, Erik Nyce, says that BJ’s did not have notice of a specific danger posed by James Phillips. Nyce also cited case law that says the owner of land has no duty to warn or protect people on the premises from the criminal acts of a third person.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot

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