This story has been out there for a little bit, and I would assume most people have heard about this. Those of you that personally know me are aware that my beef with Wal-Mart is long-standing and personal.
Debbie Shank, of Missouri was employed by Wal-Mart and covered under their insurance plan. She must have been in management because I can’t see Wal-Mart extending luxurious benefits like health insurance to someone that wasn’t management. Eight years ago, she was hit by a Semi-Truck and suffered major brain damage. She is 52 years old, restricted to a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home.
She sued the trucking company and was awarded $417,000, which was used to set up a trust fund. Wal-Mart promptly went after her and her money because written in fine print in the insurance policy is that the insurance company (owned by Wal-Mart) is able to take any money awarded to an individual in a lawsuit from an injury covered by their insurance company.
Wal-Mart sued Mrs. Shank $470,000, which is $53,000 more than she won in the settlement with the trucking company. Wal-Mart won this lawsuit. That’s right, Wal-Mart, a company that profited $11 billion in 2007 won a lawsuit that took everything from woman with a brain injury that is restricted to a wheelchair in a nursing home. Not only the money she won in a lawsuit, but $53,000 of her own money. Which of course, since she worked at Wal-Mart, she did not have.
One week after Wal-Mart won this lawsuit, Mrs. Shank’s son was killed in Iraq. Because Mrs. Shank has no short-term memory, when she asks how her son is, her husband and workers at the nursing home must break the news to her, multiple times a day, that her son is dead.
And Wal-Mart wants her money. They are scum.
I understand that some corporatists would think that this money is rightfully Wal-Mart’s. I think those people just get off on acting cold-hearted and like money is the most important thing on this planet. To those people, I say, who do you think is fronting her bill now? I’m sure she’s on Medicaid. So you, the taxpayer, are fronting her bill. So which do you want, lower taxes or fewer corporate responsibility and restrictions? This is an insurance company owned by Wal-Mart that Mrs. Shank payed for coverage. They had no problem taking her money when she paid her premiums.
Do your part, Boycott Wal-Mart. Seriously.