Texas Lawyer magazine has reported that Walmart sent an email to the magazine saying that its decision to ask an injured toddler to be present during jury selection was a mistake. The legal publication had shed light on the issue after Walmart filed a motion seeking to compel the child’s attendance. The email was sent two days after the motion was filed.
The toddler’s parents sued Walmart alleging that the boy suffered a partially paralyzing spinal cord injury as a result of the company’s gross negligence. Walmart filed a motion in federal court in Marshall, Texas, to order the toddler to be present while potential jurors were being questioned. Company lawyers wanted to have the boy, Cayden Hinson, at the proceedings in order to judge the reactions of those who could eventually be part of the jury deciding the case.
A company spokesman told Texas Lawyer “We made a mistake filing this motion and we are withdrawing it. We had no intention of inconveniencing or upsetting the Hinson family and we apologize,” spokesman Randy Hargrove said. “This was an unfortunate and tragic accident.”
The boy was injured when a vehicle struck his family’s car after the other car’s rear tires lost traction and hydroplaned.
The car owner had purchased two tires and Walmart employees installed them on the car’s front axle. It is argued that the accepted standard in the industry where all four tires need to be replaced, is to place the new tires on the rear axle.
Texas Lawyer magazine reported that the lawyer who represents the parent plaintiffs, Jeff Embry, “said that the boy’s presence in the courtroom would disrupt his physical therapy schedule ‘at a time not coordinated with his therapy or his parents.’”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.