Monday, March 31, 2008

Wal-Mart Sues Brain-Damaged Employee

The 52-year-old mother of three attended the funeral of her son, a soldier who died in Iraq, but she continues to ask how he's doing. When her family reminds her that he's dead, she weeps as if hearing the news for the first time.

Go to AlterNet original
Debbie Shank used to stock shelves at night for Wal-Mart so she could spend time in the afternoons with her three sons. Now she lives in a nursing home, requires around-the-clock medical care and owes Wal-Mart almost $500,000.

The story of the Shank family is heartbreaking in the sense that it could happen to anyone. Driving home one night, Debbie's car was hit by a tractor-trailier, leaving her brain-damaged and paralyzed. After collecting health insurance money for hospital bills (Debbie's policy with Wal-Mart paid for over $400,000 worth of emergency care), the Shanks sued the trucking company responsible for the accident, hoping to provide for Debbie's long term needs.

Now Wal-Mart has sued the Shanks, citing a line of fine print in Debbie's insurance policy that entitles the company to any lawsuit settlement. Wal-Mart intends to collect $470,000 from the Shanks, despite the fact that this will undoubtedly bankrupt Debbie's family.


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