Who, if anyone, is liable for what happened?
Wal-Mart management was probably aware of the growing crowd. At 3:30, someone called the police to request help with crowd control. According to the story, there were no officers present when 2000 customers broke into the store at 4:55 AM.
CNN reports that the employee who was killed was a part-time employee who had been hired for security. CNN further reports that this person had received no security training and had no experience in crowd control.
My personal feeling is that if a Wal-Mart manager called the police, then Wal-Mart management clearly had concerns about the unruliness of the crowd. The company is probably not criminally responsible because they couldn't have predicted what would happen. With this being said, I think they could be held liable in a civil court. The family of the man who was trampled to death has retained an attorney to pursue litigation.