Tuesday, March 25, 2008

As if anyone still needed a reason.

Well for those of you still looking for a reason to stop shopping at Wal-Mart, here you go.

Debbie Shank was involved in a traffic accident about 8 years ago which has caused her to lose much of her memory. She sued the trucking company that was responsible for the accident and was awarded $417,000, which was placed in a trust by her husband, for Debbie's long term care.

And now Wal-Mart wants that money:

Eight years ago, Shank was stocking shelves for the retail giant and signed up for Wal-Mart’s health and benefits plan.

Wal-Mart had paid out about $470,000 for Shank’s medical expenses, but in 2005, Wal-Mart’s health plan sued the Shanks for the same amount.

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.

Wal-Mart sued the family and won:

Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley, who called Debbie Shank’s case "unbelievably sad," replied in a statement: "Wal-Mart’s plan is bound by very specific rules. … We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank’s case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and benefit from, the plan."

Jim Shank said he believes Wal-Mart should make an exception.

"My idea of a win-win is — you keep the paperwork that says you won and let us keep the money so I can take care of my wife," he said.

The family’s situation is so dire that last year Jim Shank divorced Debbie, so she could receive more money from Medicaid.

Jim Shank, 54, is recovering from prostate cancer, works two jobs and struggles to pay the bills. He’s afraid he won’t be able to send their youngest son to college and pay for his and Debbie’s care.

"Who needs the money more? A disabled lady in a wheelchair with no future, whatsoever, or does Wal-Mart need $90 billion, plus $200,000?" he asked.

There's a lot more in this article.

I'm really at a loss for words.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Wal-Mart gives me the heebie-jeebies!

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