Wal-Mart Dubbed “Worst Person in the World”

Last night, MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann dubbed Wal-Mart the "Worst Person in the World" for suing severely brain-damaged Wal-Mart employee, Debbie Shank, for $470,000. According to Olbermann, "...You know why people think of Wal-Mart and evil in the same sentence? Because of the crap you guys do like this...Wal-Mart: may your stores melt in the hot sun. Today's worst person in the world." When Missouri Wal-Mart employee Debbie Shank was left severely brain-damaged and disabled after a collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago, her Wal-Mart health care plan paid her initial medical bills. The Shank family won a $417,000 settlement (after legal fees) from the trucking company, which was placed in a trust fund for Debbie's future medical care. Wal-Mart subsequently sued the family for $470,000 - for medical expense reimbursement, plus interest and legal fees - and won. The Shanks appealed, but last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear their case so the Shank family must pay Wal-Mart. Debbie lives in a nursing home, is disabled, memory-impaired and requires 24-hour care. Her husband, Jim Shank, works two jobs and doesn't know how he will pay for Debbie's future nursing home expenses. Shank spoke about the family's tragedy and Wal-Mart's heartlessness toward his family on CNN Headline News yesterday and CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 last night. "Despite its public relations efforts to improve its image, this tragic situation exposes the truth about how poorly Wal-Mart treats its employees," said David Nassar, Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director. "Wal-Mart claims it must recover the money from the Shank family in 'fairness' and to 'protect' the plan, but those claims are absurd because Wal-Mart self-funds its health care plan. Wal-Mart can and should do the right thing and let the family keep this money to take care of Debbie Shank." Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott earns more than $470,000 a week and Wal-Mart earns $470,000 every 38 seconds. Surely the largest company in the world, with $11 billion in profits and run by the nation's wealthiest family, could spare the $470,000, do the right thing and give this poor family a break. In December, Wal-Mart Watch conducted a fundraiser and in conjunction with SEIU contributed $15,000 to the Shank family. In addition, the organization appealed to the Wal-Mart's Associates in Critical Need Foundation, the Wal-Mart Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation to assist the Shank family, but received no reply to its requests. Wal-Mart Watch is currently circulating a petition to the company.

4 Responses to “Wal-Mart Dubbed “Worst Person in the World””

  1. Ted Costa JD says:

    This horrible thing that Wal Mart is doing is called subrogation and is common pratice under all group coverage when you are injured in a vehicle or other accident where their is third party liability like this case.

    No lawyer in their right mind would have settled this lawsuit without getting a waiver from Wal Mart or gettting the trucking company to pay Wal Mart back the money its medical insurance paid on Debbie’s case. There should be no surprise about this sort of settlement. Your group insurance has the same clause if you are injured.

    The family lawyer should have gotten or reduced the medical monies owed and should not have settled the case without resolving the matter. Maybe the injured party has a malpractice lawsuit against the lawyer for $400,000.
    What about that. Talk to some major tort trial lawyers.

  2. Ted Costa JD says:


  3. […] my absence last week, Jeff was good enough to post a link I sent him during my brief computer time noting that Keith Olbermann had named Wal-Mart “Worst Person in […]

  4. John says:

    Typical stuff from Wal-Mart. I would like to hear her lawyer’s story. This must have been a battle for him or her. How heartless can the lawyers for Wal-Mart be? We see this lots. If you want to see more heartless stories, go to our blog at http://WWW.MINFIRM.COM. We see this everyday.

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