I've always felt queasy about shopping at Wal-Mart. The reasons were many, but they sell the bio-degradable puppy pads I sue for Gigi. Now I'll need to figure out a new method of potty options while I'm at work.
Debbie Shank suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident nearly eight years ago that robbed her of much of her short-term memory and left her in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home.
Two years after the accident, Shank and her husband, Jim, were awarded about $1 million in a lawsuit against the trucking company involved in the crash. After legal fees were paid, $417,000 was placed in a trust to pay for Debbie Shank's long-term care.
Wal-Mart had paid out about $470,000 for Shank's mdeical expenses and later sued for the same amount. However, the court ruled it can only recoup what is left in the family's trust.
The Shanks didn't notice in the fine print of Wal-Mart's health plan policy that the company has the right to recoup medical expenses if an employee collects damages in a lawsuit.
The Shanks lost their suit to Wal-Mart. Last summer, the couple appealed the ruling — but also lost it. One week later, their son was killed in Iraq.
The family's situation is so dire that last year Jim Shank divorced Debbie, so she could receive more money from Medicaid.
Besides the obvious, note that Mrs. Shank suffers from short-term memory loss. And her son died in Iraq after the accident. She still asks for him and cries like she's learned the news for the first time every time. (Personally I think they should lie to her about that one.)
Yes, Wal-Mart is legally correct on this one, but they are morally wrong. Shame on you Wal-Mart.