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blacbird
03-29-2008, 08:26 AM
I'm amazed no one has yet posted on this issue (unless somehow I missed it). This story is now making big air time with Anderson Cooper on CNN and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, among other places. Curiously, I haven't seen a mention of it on Fox, but I may have missed it there. In any case, in case you are unaware:

Shank is a former WalMart employee who was severely injured, suffering permanent brain damage, in an auto accident. She got a $400,000 and change settlement from those judged at fault in the accident. WalMart immediately sued her for that money, and some more, on grounds that the WalMart health care policy demands that people such as Shank, who get settlements of this sort, owe those back to the company health plan. WalMart not only won the lawsuit, but it got taken all the way to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear it.

A week after the accident, Shank's son was killed in action in Iraq.

Shank has severe memory problems and requires constant medical care. She cannot remember her son's death, and asks about him constantly. Everytime she asks, and is told he has died, it is like the first time she's heard it.

WalMart has sent the Shanks a notice that they imminently intend to collect this money, which is the entirety of what she has for her care. Last quarter, WalMart made a profit of $90 BILLION dollars. Three or four of the WalMart heirs get listed every year on the top ten richest people IN THE WORLD.

The Supreme Court of the United States obviously thinks this is all just fine.

If you haven't heard about this atrocity, google is your friend.

caw

LloydBrown
03-29-2008, 08:36 AM
You missed it. It's around here somewhere.

blacbird
03-29-2008, 08:39 AM
You missed it. It's around here somewhere.

Thanks. But the thread's not current, as far as I can see, and there's a revival of public outrage about it playing out on TV news now, and elsewhere. Threats of boycott, etc. Worth publicizing, seems to me.

caw

bluntforcetrauma
03-29-2008, 08:58 AM
And people continue to shop that evil place. If you choose to shop walmart after knowing this, it's beyond me. We quit going there a few years ago.

InfinityGoddess
03-29-2008, 09:39 AM
No Wal-Mart near me! I usually shop at Rite-Aid and when I go home, there's either Target or K-Mart.

So there, evil Wal-Mart. :P~

whistlelock
03-29-2008, 09:56 AM
The Supreme Court of the United States obviously thinks this is all just fine.


caw
Well, she signed the contract when she was hired. so...I don't think there's a lot that can be done about it.

Other, than you know, never shopping at walmart.

bluntforcetrauma
03-29-2008, 10:00 AM
Contract or no, it's a heartless clause.

Jersey Chick
03-29-2008, 10:06 AM
I heard about this on Countdown with Keith Olbermann - I already despise WalMart, so this was just one more reason to add to it.

Siddow
03-29-2008, 10:12 AM
It is heartless, but it's not uncommon. My insurance will pay for my medical expenses but also expects to be paid back in the case of a judgment against the party who did me harm. The thing I think we're missing here is that Ms. Shank received compensation for her medical bills and then did not pay them. She had a crappy lawyer, as far as I can tell. Being brain-damaged for the rest of your life is worth a hell of a lot more than 400K, you know? Who would take care of someone for what--60 years?--even 40--for 10k a year, 24 hours a day?

I mean, really.

How the court even thought that judgment was fair to begin with, I don't know.

Lyra Jean
03-29-2008, 10:20 AM
It's not like the health insurance is a real benefit. I work at Walmart and I pay for my health insurance it comes out of my pay every month and when I do go to the doctor's office I still have to pay for what the insurance doesn't cover. So why do they get to keep the settlement?

blacbird
03-29-2008, 10:20 AM
Well, she signed the contract when she was hired. so...I don't think there's a lot that can be done about it.

Other, than you know, never shopping at walmart.

Sure there is. Embarrassing the schidt out of this company and the lampreys that run it, which is what Cooper and Olbermann are making a stab at. Might not work, God knows, considering the avarice of these "people", but it'll be fun trying, won't it? It's an incredibly stupid thing for them to do; they could easily have proposed a deal to the Shanks to clear up any potentially damaging legal entanglement, for pocket change, and been able to play the magnanimous charitable caring company they like to advertise that they are. No, it makes more sense to them to crush these little people like cockroaches. They deserve every molecule of bad press they receive over this issue, and many others. WalMart makes Exxon/Mobil look like archangels.

caw

Siddow
03-29-2008, 10:25 AM
So, should we walk into the store and tell management that we're not buying because of this?

Otherwise, I think they might not notice.

Celia Cyanide
03-29-2008, 10:29 AM
Sure there is. Embarrassing the schidt out of this company and the lampreys that run it, which is what Cooper and Olbermann are making a stab at. Might not work, God knows, considering the avarice of these "people", but it'll be fun trying, won't it?

Absolutely. This is disgusting, blacky. Who gives a crap what contact she signed? Wal-Mart is not legally obligated to fuck this poor woman over. They are choosing to.

bluntforcetrauma
03-29-2008, 10:45 AM
It's not like the health insurance is a real benefit. I work at Walmart and I pay for my health insurance it comes out of my pay every month and when I do go to the doctor's office I still have to pay for what the insurance doesn't cover. So why do they get to keep the settlement?

Let me go on record saying I have no ill will toward WM employees. They are by and large great people. But like many huge corporations, WM owners thrive by killing off anything in their way.

Cranky
03-29-2008, 10:48 AM
This makes me a little ill. I've never really had a huge problem with Wal-Mart, but this is a disgusting policy, imo.

My stepfather works for them...has for many years. I'll have to ask him if he's aware of this lovely clause.

Siddow
03-29-2008, 10:54 AM
Folks, it's not an unusual clause. Seriously. I'm not defending the suing of someone who clearly cannot represent herself, but it's not off-base for the insurance company who paid for medical claims of an injured person to reclaim the money from a future injury settlement.

The settlement was for medical bills, was it not?

Cranky
03-29-2008, 10:57 AM
Folks, it's not an unusual clause. Seriously. I'm not defending the suing of someone who clearly cannot represent herself, but it's not off-base for the insurance company who paid for medical claims of an injured person to reclaim the money from a future injury settlement.

The settlement was for medical bills, was it not?

I don't necessarily disagree with you, Madam President. What bothers me (and apparently you, as well) is the fact that Wal-Mart, Inc. couldn't be bothered to make an exception that would not have hurt them. Now, if you're talking about an injury that will heal fairly well, and doesn't necessitate long-term care, then I would have no issue with it.

But this...it just strikes me as unseemly greediness. Can't help it, I'm afraid. :D

Unique
03-29-2008, 04:10 PM
You missed it. It's around here somewhere.

First I've heard.

I don't do TV, newspapers, radio -
I got AW and ... dial up.

Got linkx? (dial up is sloooowww...)

ETA:And people continue to shop that evil place. If you choose to shop walmart after knowing this, it's beyond me. We quit going there a few years ago.

Well, she signed the contract when she was hired. so...I don't think there's a lot that can be done about it.

Hiding shit in legalese doesn't make it right. I feel badly for her if she didn't read it AND comprehend it; if it is written in such a way that the 'average' person cannot comprehend it (i.e. legalese) there might be something to be done about it. That would depend on her skillz of her attorney and getting the Supremes ... to do their fucking job!! (*%&#^#^!!!)

So, should we walk into the store and tell management that we're not buying because of this?
Otherwise, I think they might not notice.

Well - if I ever actually saw a manager on duty at Wal-Mart .... But perhaps I shall make it a point.

Personally, I have cut waay down on my shopping there. Choices aren't great here where I live (at present) but I definitely don't do most of my shopping there (groceries) anymore.

Some things I never buy there because it ISN'T cheaper and I don't like the packaging, the price, or the quality. (meat & veg mostly) YMMV

onlyhere
03-29-2008, 04:55 PM
My daughter works at Walmart, but we've opted not to take the health insurance because she is disabled and automatically qualifies for medicaid.
Although this is tragic, I have to agree with Siddow and if I ever believed she had paid in as much as they paid out for her medical I would agree with others, but I doubt she did. She had bad lawyers. They seem to be the ones who should be at fault.
Even a person on SSI is required to repay if they receive a settlement for a disability.

LaceWing
03-29-2008, 05:04 PM
The person at fault is liable for the medical bills. Until the case is settled, one's own insurance company pays the bills -- and of course they want the at fault party to repay them.

The settlement is usually expected to be three times medical costs plus other losses, or so I learned after an auto accident. The woman was not awarded enough. The lawyers and case expenses ate too much of the settlement. Is WalMart still liable for her ongoing care? If not, that's one part that gripes me, that her coverage ended.

A little known clause in some company benefits: a surviving spouse may get health insurance, but it will not continue after a subsequent marriage. It irks me greatly knowing that unmarried people don't live as long; insurance actuaries certainly know this. (It did save me from a drastic mistake, however.)

Appalachian Writer
03-29-2008, 05:09 PM
I have been in court rooms, speaking for myself and for others, and I have yet to see what I consider TRUE justice. The LAW is blind to suffering; it can only see the threads that bind us to legalities. Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure. If there were any TRUE justice, this woman would be treated with the compassion she deserves. What I've come to believe is that JUSTICE, as we might understand the word, and the LAW are two completely different things. Is it just that a mother, especially one in this condition, lose her child? NO. Is it just that the monies reserved for her physical care be swept into some corporate conglomerate without conscience? NO. But the reality of this world is that corporations do not have a beating heart. What's morally just doesn't play well in the daily business concert. As long as the free market is balanced like a bank account, without any ability to tip the scale toward compassion, more and more horror stories like the one the Shank family is enduring will pop up. Maybe public outcry will change the decision, but I have my doubts.

johnnysannie
03-29-2008, 05:13 PM
It's not like the health insurance is a real benefit. I work at Walmart and I pay for my health insurance it comes out of my pay every month and when I do go to the doctor's office I still have to pay for what the insurance doesn't cover. So why do they get to keep the settlement?

If your insurance is written like what I had in my brief time at Wal-Mart a long, long time ago, it is written into the policy that way.

HeronW
03-29-2008, 05:24 PM
legal uncertainty here--remembering something heard/read a long time ago--aren't corporations treated as 'human' i.e. can collect on pain and suffering, loss of income, etc, and all the claims a flesh and blood person has for a coporate entity has as well? If so, isn't that a load of crap?

Appalachian Writer
03-29-2008, 05:43 PM
legal uncertainty here--remembering something heard/read a long time ago--aren't corporations treated as 'human' i.e. can collect on pain and suffering, loss of income, etc, and all the claims a flesh and blood person has for a coporate entity has as well? If so, isn't that a load of crap?

Again, JUST? I think the operative word here is "entity," as in vague, vaporous collection of ectoplasm, ghost, shadowy, only resembling a flesh and blood person? Again I say it, sometimes I'm so ashamed to be human that I long to be a bear! At least a bear knows crap when it sees it!

Robert Toy
03-29-2008, 05:44 PM
legal uncertainty here--remembering something heard/read a long time ago--aren't corporations treated as 'human' i.e. can collect on pain and suffering, loss of income, etc, and all the claims a flesh and blood person has for a coporate entity has as well? If so, isn't that a load of crap?
On B2B, all the many contracts that I have worked on, (aircraft sales, parts, support, etc.) the companies are strictly legal entities and not humans. Great pains are taken with various standard clauses specifically excluding things like loss of income, consequential damages, and even death unless caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The later is near impossible to prove unless it is an act of sabotage.

Plot Device
03-29-2008, 06:22 PM
I have a question:

Does that clause in the Wal-Mart employee health insurance agreement only require she pay back into the Wal-Mart plan the equivalent of what the Wal-Mart plan paid for in relation to that auto accident? (And I am assuming the clause ONLY goes after money involved in the auto-accident-related medical care, and not every silly little trip to the doctor she ever made for colds and sprained ankles, etc, over the years.)

Or does the clause demand 100% of any settlement, regardless of whether the settlement exceeds what she utilized?

If it's the former, then her lawyer did a piss-poor job in negotiating his demands for her --that lawyer did NOT calculate the full cost of her past health care, nor her future needs. And so she should sue HIM now. (Yes, we ARE a litigious nation.)


If it's the later, then Wal-Mart should be slapped with a class-action lawsuit.

StephanieFox
03-29-2008, 07:27 PM
I have heard about this, but since I NEVER go into a Walmart, I can't re-boycott my boycott.

It's true she signed a contract, and it's true that legally this woman hasn't a leg to stand one, but a multi-bullion dollar company could certainly make a an exception. Perhaps they could have set up a trust for this woman, taking in donations, etc. But that might mean that they'd have to start treating ALL their employees better, giving them good health coverage and paying them a reasonable wage. Not gonna happen.

onlyhere
03-29-2008, 07:35 PM
I haven't read the employee packet my daughter received, but if I get brave enough to go into her room (very scary) I'll look for it and read the health insurance.

Don Allen
03-29-2008, 07:50 PM
Emotions aside, which in this case is really hard to do... There are two glaring contradictions that haven't been explained. The 400,000 settlement should have been paid on top of, not all including this woman's medical expenses, a first year law student would have got that so my question is what don't we know? Also, walmart should have been included in the lawsuit against the offending party, again every first year law student knows that every indemnifying contract has a clause to recover against third party judgement losses. So, what aren't they telling us in this case??? I have no love for Walmart at all...... And I think this family has gotten royally screwed, but like someone else had said 400 grand for this injury, is fucking insulting... I know people with slip and falls that got a million... One other thing, if everything we hear about this case is true then the family should sue their lawyer for malpractice because at very least this money should have been put into a medical trust that would have exempted it from suit. I really don't know what to believe here...

Robert Toy
03-29-2008, 07:56 PM
Update

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/25/walmart.insurance.battle/index.html

InfinityGoddess
03-29-2008, 08:29 PM
Hey, guys, if you really want to help the Shanks, here's a link with the information on how to do it:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/29/114727/472/212/485916

onlyhere
03-29-2008, 08:52 PM
The idea of funding going into BofA are more frightening than the whole Walmart thing. I might donate, but not to BofA.

InfinityGoddess
03-29-2008, 08:58 PM
The idea of funding going into BofA are more frightening than the whole Walmart thing. I might donate, but not to BofA.


It's not going to Bank of America, though; it's going to the Shanks. It's simply a way to get money to them so one doesn't have to reveal their most personal info online (because it's really not a good idea). Even if they had a Paypal account, they'd still have to give an email address and it would still go into a Bank of America account, since I assume that's the bank the Shanks use.

Plus, I think that when a corporation is willing to help out a family in need like this, it's a good thing.

Takvah
03-29-2008, 09:55 PM
This is what I want. I want the government to tally all of the outstanding medical, SSI debts owed by underpaid and under insured Walmart employees that receive counseling on how to play the system. I then want those government subsidies to be charged against the profits made by Walmart. If they want to pay people nothing and give them no benefits they don't deserve to operate their business in this country. Walmart employees should not be a welfare state unto themselves, and yet that's what they've become. That company is a disgrace. Sam Walton must be rolling in his grave. Between their abandonment of American products, strong arm tactics with vendors and disregard for the PRIVACY and WELLBEING of their employees it hardly resembles anything that Walton had envisioned. It hardly resembles anything representative of America.

:) MY ASS.

Don Allen
03-29-2008, 09:55 PM
Update

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/25/walmart.insurance.battle/index.html

Thanks robert, that answered some of my questions but, man, not to include Walmart as a planitff on this thing was really dumb. Also, a couple of things really stand out ...600,000 for attorneys fee's in a slam shut case.... I could see 40% but her attorneys are just as guilty as Walmart for Christs sake, I thinik they could refund 200K here and stillcome out on top, WON"T HAPPEN... I get the feeling that they settled instead of going to trial on this...big mistake!!! she should have got more... Think about that... Everyone is mad at Walmart for trying to recoup what they are legally entitled to recoup, but not one thing is said about the vulture attorneys that pocketed 600,000 dollars from this families misfortune... eeeegaddds what a world we live in....

Snowstorm
03-30-2008, 06:24 AM
On another forum, one writer wrote that she should have read her contract and should have known Walmart would come after the money.

While true, however how many people realistically read and comprehend every iota of such contracts? Few, I'll bet.

How many people have choices in which medical plan they can get? Probably very few. It's probably take it or leave it.

Would anyone expect this poor woman to, gee, actually remember this clause? For crying out loud, she can't even remember one of her children is dead!?

Just because Walmart can legally go after this woman's trust fund, doesn't mean they have to.

I'm not a bleeding heart by any means. But they're scumbags.

Cranky
03-30-2008, 06:27 AM
Thanks robert, that answered some of my questions but, man, not to include Walmart as a planitff on this thing was really dumb. Also, a couple of things really stand out ...600,000 for attorneys fee's in a slam shut case.... I could see 40% but her attorneys are just as guilty as Walmart for Christs sake, I thinik they could refund 200K here and stillcome out on top, WON"T HAPPEN... I get the feeling that they settled instead of going to trial on this...big mistake!!! she should have got more... Think about that... Everyone is mad at Walmart for trying to recoup what they are legally entitled to recoup, but not one thing is said about the vulture attorneys that pocketed 600,000 dollars from this families misfortune... eeeegaddds what a world we live in....

A commission they agreed to as well. Ouch. The lawyer is entitled to his fee, Wal-Mart is entitled to recoup their costs, and these poor people are entitled to suck eggs, I guess. :(

InfinityGoddess
03-30-2008, 07:50 AM
On another forum, one writer wrote that she should have read her contract and should have known Walmart would come after the money.

While true, however how many people realistically read and comprehend every iota of such contracts? Few, I'll bet.


Not to mention you can't expect a woman who has to be told over and over again that her son died in Iraq to remember the fine print of her contract. People can be so insensitive.

astonwest
03-30-2008, 05:44 PM
Folks, it's not an unusual clause. Seriously. I'm not defending the suing of someone who clearly cannot represent herself, but it's not off-base for the insurance company who paid for medical claims of an injured person to reclaim the money from a future injury settlement.

If it wasn't Wal-Mart who was doing it, would half the people in this thread have as much hatred toward the people trying to reclaim the funds?

When my nephew died due to the actions of another person, the city told the family of a "victims of crime" fund they use to help the families of victims pay for things such as burial, medical expenses, etc. that they could not pay for themselves.

They make it quite clear that if you receive reimbursement later (through lawsuits, insurance payments, etc.) you'll be expected to pay the fund back so that the next victim can receive payment.

Is that considered a horrible tragedy to everyone?

I don't necessarily disagree with you, Madam President. What bothers me (and apparently you, as well) is the fact that Wal-Mart, Inc. couldn't be bothered to make an exception that would not have hurt them.

But ask yourself this, if this person, because of her particular situation, received nearly $500K in medical benefits, was able to receive her settlement without repaying her employer, as per her contract...what about the thousands of others who don't have nearly as sad a story? What about the Wal-Mart employee whose kid gets hit by a car, has Wal-Mart pay $30K (through insurance) to the emergency room to save his life, and then gets a payout from the ensuing lawsuit?

At some point, the company would just stop offering any sort of insurance at all...

All that being said...I, too, think someone should have enlisted the help of a better lawyer for acquiring a settlement.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
03-30-2008, 06:58 PM
Is it too late to do just that? Surely there's a lawyer out there somewhere who specializes in lawyer malpractice. If the facts are as discussed, the woman's lawyers screwed up BIG time and should be taking the brunt of the heat... and the loss. Since they didn't make sure the woman was taken care of by checking all contingencies, they need to pony up for the woman's care now that she has no other recourse and her husband's had to divorce her so we, the taxpayers, can support her.

Don Allen
03-30-2008, 07:40 PM
I agree with you Ol fash. Thats why I still say there has to be something here that isn't coming out, because this whole thing just stinks to high heaven. ...and it's not even about this woman reading her contract. Re-imbursement is a standard part of every insurance contract, If anyone here has insurance, I guarantee you its in your contract, thats why her attorneys should hold some accountability here.. Like you guys, this just sucks so bad it's hard to talk about it with wanting to beat on something.

blacbird
03-30-2008, 10:43 PM
But ask yourself this, if this person, because of her particular situation, received nearly $500K in medical benefits, was able to receive her settlement without repaying her employer, as per her contract...what about the thousands of others who don't have nearly as sad a story? What about the Wal-Mart employee whose kid gets hit by a car, has Wal-Mart pay $30K (through insurance) to the emergency room to save his life, and then gets a payout from the ensuing lawsuit? .

Okay, I asked myself. And myself answered: "The ensuing lawsuit" isn't a slam-dunk in these cases, and more often than not there's no lawsuit or cause for one. In the case of Mrs. Shank, her "settlement", reached out of court, I believe, isn't anywhere near enough to cover both her immediate medical bills and her necessary long-term care. Nor is the WalMart medical reimbursement, which says a lot about WalMart's care for its employees. Insured medical benefits should not be contingent on or linked to any outside reimbursement that might come owing to litigation or external settlement. That should be illegal. That it isn't, is a travesty.

Do we pay more attention to this case because WalMart is involved? Of course we do. WalMart as a corporation and the heirs of Sam Walton as individuals have a well-earned reputation for being commercial pirates, bullies and general all around greedy skinflints. This case only adds another layer of paint to that reputation.

caw

InfinityGoddess
04-02-2008, 03:24 AM
BREAKING NEWS: Wal-Mart is backing off (http://walmartwatch.com/blog/archives/wal_mart_bows_to_public_pressure/).

blacbird
04-02-2008, 03:34 AM
Dickheads. No credit here. It took a massive public outcry and months of pain and worry to this family for these cretins to figger it out. There wasn't anybody in WalMart higher management smart enough and/or moral enough to get this resolved until now?

But, not to worry, I have faith this behemoth corporation has already sown the seeds of some similar, quite possibly worse, outrage we'll be hearing about in coming months.

caw

johnnysannie
04-02-2008, 04:22 AM
Being a cretin is a job requirement for Wal-Mart management at any level.

InfinityGoddess
04-02-2008, 04:55 AM
Dickheads. No credit here. It took a massive public outcry and months of pain and worry to this family for these cretins to figger it out. There wasn't anybody in WalMart higher management smart enough and/or moral enough to get this resolved until now?

They probably began to figure it out when it started to hit where it hurts the most; their pocketbooks. That's usually how most corporations start to behave themselves and is all the more reason why talk of tort reform should cease and why these behemoth corporations need to be regulated and the laws enforced with the stiffest fines possible.

But, not to worry, I have faith this behemoth corporation has already sown the seeds of some similar, quite possibly worse, outrage we'll be hearing about in coming months.

caw

Hence why organizations like WalMartWatch.com exists. ;) It was through their mailing list that I found out this news shortly after I signed an online petition that I would have posted if Wal-Mart hadn't finally caved.

Generic46
04-02-2008, 04:58 AM
This whole story makes me sick.

blacbird
04-02-2008, 08:06 AM
Here's what I don't get: I'm a WalMart senior exec, and this issue arises. It takes me about a microsecond to see that it's waaaaaaaay bad press, potentially, and a truly minimal amount of money is involved. Hey, not only that, it's a chance, for negligible expenditure, to make some real hay in the public image area by being just a weeeeeee bit magnanimous. A hell of a lot less money spent than we pay to the slick Madison Avenue agencies who do our advertising. Let's absolve ourselves of any legal liability and donate, say, a million dollars to Deborah Shank's trust fund, and then trumpet that generosity all over TV at every opportunity.

NONE OF THE WALMART MANAGEMENT COULD FIGURE THAT ONE OUT????????????? NONE OF THE MULTIBILLIONAIRE OFFSPRING OF SAM WALTON COULD FIGURE THAT ONE OUT??????????????

caw

onlyhere
04-02-2008, 09:16 AM
Let's see what happens next. While I pity this poor woman and her family, now it has started a trend that will not end with this case. I'd really like to know when they are going after the lawyers.

benbradley
04-02-2008, 09:37 AM
They probably began to figure it out when it started to hit where it hurts the most; their pocketbooks. That's usually how most corporations start to behave themselves
I agree...
and is all the more reason why talk of tort reform should cease and why these behemoth corporations need to be regulated and the laws enforced with the stiffest fines possible.
Hold on! We just had a marketplace solution to this particular problem, demonstrating the power of the free flow of ideas and of people voting with their pocketbooks and feet to go shop elsewhere, but now you want The Government to be all involved with it! What gives???
WalMartWatch.gov Hence why organizations like WalMartWatch.com exists. ;) [/quote]
Huh? You mean it's not WalMartWatch.gov? It's not a government-funded organization? How in the world could it possibly be effective???
It was through their mailing list that I found out this news shortly after I signed an online petition that I would have posted if Wal-Mart hadn't finally caved.

(Yeah, I'm the L word [That Other L Word]. Got somethin' to say 'bout it?)

Celia Cyanide
04-02-2008, 05:13 PM
Here's what I don't get: I'm a WalMart senior exec, and this issue arises. It takes me about a microsecond to see that it's waaaaaaaay bad press, potentially, and a truly minimal amount of money is involved. Hey, not only that, it's a chance, for negligible expenditure, to make some real hay in the public image area by being just a weeeeeee bit magnanimous. A hell of a lot less money spent than we pay to the slick Madison Avenue agencies who do our advertising. Let's absolve ourselves of any legal liability and donate, say, a million dollars to Deborah Shank's trust fund, and then trumpet that generosity all over TV at every opportunity.

NONE OF THE WALMART MANAGEMENT COULD FIGURE THAT ONE OUT????????????? NONE OF THE MULTIBILLIONAIRE OFFSPRING OF SAM WALTON COULD FIGURE THAT ONE OUT??????????????

caw

I agree, blac. I think most major corporations in this country do think about PR before they try to screw someone over for what is, to them, a very small ammount of money. It's almost creepy to think that no one at Wal-Mart realized what a PR nightmare this would be for them.

Norman D Gutter
04-02-2008, 05:25 PM
Well, working only three miles from Wal-Mart's corporate HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas, I have access to a few people, even a couple in corporate management. Let me check and see what the Wal-Martians I know say about this, and hopefully report back.

Concerning Wal-Martians (our local name for their employees) paying for their health care, if W-M is like most corporate employers, well over half of the total cost of health care premiums is paid by the company, not the employee. In the company I work for, it's about 75 percent company, 25 percent employee. So I can see why the insurance company (or self-insurance arm of the company) would want to recover those costs. As other have said, medical costs are different from pain and suffering payments, which should go to her. Does her medical insurance continue to pay all her medical bills? Does that have a lifetime cap on it? There are many, many details to know about this, before just going off on "the evil Wal-Mart".

Speaking of Wal-Mart owners and their greed, does that apply to me and my 100 shares? Or to your pension plan with it's 10,000 shares? Wal-Mart is one of the most widely held companies in America, with virtually every pension fund, every mutual fund, and many moms and pops owning their stock. The amount held by the Walton family is pretty low as a percentage of the total ownership.

And, it is highly unlikely that any of the Walton family was involved in any decision to pursue recovery of this settlement. This was made at the operating level of their insurance division. I'll bet the COO and CEO knew nothing about it until it hit the news.

NDG
P.S. I hate to show my ignorance of the current vernacular, but what is a 'cretin'?

Jcomp
04-02-2008, 05:55 PM
I agree, blac. I think most major corporations in this country do think about PR before they try to screw someone over for what is, to them, a very small ammount of money. It's almost creepy to think that no one at Wal-Mart realized what a PR nightmare this would be for them.

Thing is, I don't know how many people actually know about this enough for it to be a PR nightmare. At least not yet, and I don't know if it ever will be. Wal-Mart is damn near like "The Company" that runs the country in dystopian-future fiction. Its customers don't even seem to fathom that it's possible to shop elsewhere, in spite of all the bad press Wal-Mart's had over the years.

I just went to one last night (I usually never shop @ Wal-Mart on principle, but who else sells extension cords at 11:30pm? Karma bit my pinky toe and made me buy the wrong one though, but I digress...) and it was like Club Wal-Mart. At next to midnight, the place was jumping. Grocery shoppers, people buying clothes, buying tools, buying all the assortment of stuff Wal-Mart has to offer. That's a damn committed clientele.

I wouldn't be too surprised to find out that Wal-Mart execs are trying to test just how far they can take their dickery before it hurts the bottom line...

Sheryl Nantus
04-02-2008, 06:19 PM
Speaking of Wal-Mart owners and their greed, does that apply to me and my 100 shares? Or to your pension plan with it's 10,000 shares? Wal-Mart is one of the most widely held companies in America, with virtually every pension fund, every mutual fund, and many moms and pops owning their stock. The amount held by the Walton family is pretty low as a percentage of the total ownership.


silly wabbit... ANYONE who makes a profit is evil.

:D

onlyhere
04-02-2008, 06:59 PM
I just can't fault Walmart. Their treatment of my daughter since she began working has been outstanding. They let her keep the same schedule, stay in contact with me and she receives a bonus for working Sundays. If a situation arises, the supervisor lets me know about it.
I worked for J.C. Penney catalog and their treatment of employees is far worse.

Norman D Gutter
04-02-2008, 07:00 PM
I just went to one last night (I usually never shop @ Wal-Mart on principle, but who else sells extension cords at 11:30pm? Karma bit my pinky toe and made me buy the wrong one though, but I digress...) and it was like Club Wal-Mart. At next to midnight, the place was jumping. Grocery shoppers, people buying clothes, buying tools, buying all the assortment of stuff Wal-Mart has to offer. That's a damn committed clientele.

Sounds like the 2nd shifters getting off work and stopping by on their way home.

johnnysannie
04-02-2008, 07:01 PM
Well, working only three miles from Wal-Mart's corporate HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas

Hey! Then you don't live all that far from me in my corner of SWMO (neosho);





P.S. I hate to show my ignorance of the current vernacular, but what is a 'cretin'?

Cret or cretin:

Idiot, fool,

Celia Cyanide
04-02-2008, 07:22 PM
Thing is, I don't know how many people actually know about this enough for it to be a PR nightmare. At least not yet, and I don't know if it ever will be.

Then why did they back off?

Robert Toy
04-02-2008, 07:33 PM
A former Wal-Mart employee who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident won't have to pay back the company for the cost of her medical care, Wal-Mart told the family Tuesday.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/law/04/02/walmart.decision/index.html

InfinityGoddess
04-02-2008, 08:17 PM
Hold on! We just had a marketplace solution to this particular problem, demonstrating the power of the free flow of ideas and of people voting with their pocketbooks and feet to go shop elsewhere, but now you want The Government to be all involved with it! What gives???

Laissez-faire capitalism is bad for a country's economy and the free market. It's what led this country into the Great Depression, and why we're going downhill now.


Huh? You mean it's not WalMartWatch.gov? It's not a government-funded organization? How in the world could it possibly be effective???


It's hard to have government oversight when you have corporate-friendly politicians in charge, isn't it?

benbradley
04-02-2008, 08:47 PM
Well, working only three miles from Wal-Mart's corporate HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas, I have access to a few people, even a couple in corporate management. Let me check and see what the Wal-Martians I know say about this, and hopefully report back.

Concerning Wal-Martians (our local name for their employees) paying for their health care, if W-M is like most corporate employers, well over half of the total cost of health care premiums is paid by the company, not the employee.
There was one state that was suing Wal-Mart because it counseled employees to rely on the state for medical services. But I guess anything that reduces a company's medical expenses is a Good Thing...

Actually, 100 percent of health care provided by the employer is paid for by customers. It's included in the prices of the products. Corporate taxes are the same way, but I shouldn't even mention that, it's getting off topic...
In the company I work for, it's about 75 percent company, 25 percent employee. So I can see why the insurance company (or self-insurance arm of the company) would want to recover those costs. As other have said, medical costs are different from pain and suffering payments, which should go to her. Does her medical insurance continue to pay all her medical bills? Does that have a lifetime cap on it? There are many, many details to know about this, before just going off on "the evil Wal-Mart".

Speaking of Wal-Mart owners and their greed, does that apply to me and my 100 shares? Or to your pension plan with it's 10,000 shares? Wal-Mart is one of the most widely held companies in America, with virtually every pension fund, every mutual fund, and many moms and pops owning their stock. The amount held by the Walton family is pretty low as a percentage of the total ownership.
What are you saying by bringing this up? That Wal-Mart is so entrenched into modern society that we have to live with it as-is? That the Wal-Mart family isn't as rich as alleged? Not that there's anything wrong with being rich per se, but what bothers me is the likelihood of ill-gotten gains.

When investing, is the rate of return and investing in a "solid, growing company" the only criterion? I understand that illegal recreational drugs is a growth industry, in spite of the US Government's War On Drugs...
And, it is highly unlikely that any of the Walton family was involved in any decision to pursue recovery of this settlement. This was made at the operating level of their insurance division. I'll bet the COO and CEO knew nothing about it until it hit the news.
I agree that it's unlikely they knew about the specific case, but company policies and decisions on whether contracts/agreements should always be rigorously applied or whether exceptions can be made, that's company culture and it comes from the top.
Thing is, I don't know how many people actually know about this enough for it to be a PR nightmare. At least not yet, and I don't know if it ever will be. Wal-Mart is damn near like "The Company" that runs the country in dystopian-future fiction.
Is "The Company" some book or movie I missed? Anyway, there's "Manna" from this site (make some time for it, it really is near-novel length) Reading it reminded me so much of Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Burger King,...
http://marshallbrain.com/
Its customers don't even seem to fathom that it's possible to shop elsewhere, in spite of all the bad press Wal-Mart's had over the years.
Exactly - Wal-Mart shoppers tend to be poorer, don't neccesarily watch or read news, and even when they KNOW about these things, they still justify it by "But look at Wal-Mart's prices, I can't afford to shop anywhere else."
I just went to one last night (I usually never shop @ Wal-Mart on principle, but who else sells extension cords at 11:30pm? Karma bit my pinky toe and made me buy the wrong one though, but I digress...) and it was like Club Wal-Mart. At next to midnight, the place was jumping. Grocery shoppers, people buying clothes, buying tools, buying all the assortment of stuff Wal-Mart has to offer. That's a damn committed clientele.
The thing is, even late at night (and it's been a few years), I've STILL had to wait in line to get to a cashier that time of night. It's obvious to me they intentionally don't hire "enough" cashiers to reduce the lengths of lines, and the customers don't see their time in line as worth anything, or that the low prices make the wait in line worth it.
I wouldn't be too surprised to find out that Wal-Mart execs are trying to test just how far they can take their dickery before it hurts the bottom line...
I agree, I think that's what it is, company culture and company policy. To quote The Godfather, "it's just business."
[quote=Sheryl Nantus;2224424]silly wabbit... ANYONE who makes a profit is evil.

:D
You, you, you .... WATERMELON, you!

Sorry, had to say it. I'll take my slaps from the mods.
A former Wal-Mart employee who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident won't have to pay back the company for the cost of her medical care, Wal-Mart told the family Tuesday.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/law/04/02/walmart.decision/index.html
That article is on the cnn.com main page, the third item under "latest news" (how old is this thread, anyway?):
Injured Wal-Mart worker can keep money (http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/law/04/02/walmart.decision/index.html)
so it looks like they're getting publicity for finally "doing the right thing."

Norman D Gutter
04-02-2008, 11:00 PM
Actually, 100 percent of health care provided by the employer is paid for by customers. It's included in the prices of the products. Corporate taxes are the same way, but I shouldn't even mention that, it's getting off topic...
True enough, but someone said something about the employees paying for their own health insurance premiums. My experience in the corporate world (much smaller corporations) is that this is a shared cost between employee through deductions and employer through direct payments that the employee never sees. Obviously customers supply all the money for both employee and company to pay what they pay. But that's a bit off topic.

What are you saying by bringing this up? That Wal-Mart is so entrenched into modern society that we have to live with it as-is? That the Wal-Mart family isn't as rich as alleged? Not that there's anything wrong with being rich per se, but what bothers me is the likelihood of ill-gotten gains.
I brought this up because of statements like this in post 14 in this thread: "WM owners thrive by killing off anything in their way." And this comment in the original post: "Three or four of the WalMart heirs get listed every year on the top ten richest people IN THE WORLD." For some reason, people think Wal-Mart is still a Walton family thing. It isn't. They still own a lot of stock obviously, but the ownership is incredibly widespread. If you own any mutual funds, or if you have a 401K or IRA or a corporate pension plan, chances are you are an owner of Wal-Mart.

When investing, is the rate of return and investing in a "solid, growing company" the only criterion? I understand that illegal recreational drugs is a growth industry, in spite of the US Government's War On Drugs...
Responsible investing is something I believe in. But I would not divest my 100 shares, or pull out of my IRA, 401K, or mutual funds just because some low level Wal-Mart insurance clerk just tried to do their job as the insurance policy was written, and was backed up by some low level corporate attorney who was just trying to do their job, and both failed to do some charitable thing that the law did not require them to do and find a way to help this unfortunate woman. Yes, a better solution is needed in this case, and I'm glad to see that finally happened. I just don't see W-M as an evil empire out to take over the world.

NDG

Jcomp
04-02-2008, 11:12 PM
Then why did they back off?

They have better hearts at the top of the food chain than we gave them credit for?

Hell if I know. I just don't think the average Wal-Mart regular was aware or would have been overly concerned if made aware. Just my opinion...

Jcomp
04-02-2008, 11:18 PM
While we're talking about this lady's situation... and I don't know what's necessarily right or wrong here and I'm not trying to judge... but if her son died and her short term memory loss makes her forget that he's gone, is it better to remind her that he died each time she asks about him and let it hit her like it's the first time hearing the news yet again, or just say "He's doing well, sends his love," knowing that she'll forget again soon and never be the wiser?

While I'm usually all for truth, I would think that the more compassionate thing, if this is a legitimately established pattern, would be the latter.

johnnysannie
04-02-2008, 11:27 PM
Hell if I know. I just don't think the average Wal-Mart regular was aware or would have been overly concerned if made aware. Just my opinion...

I don't think that the situation would have concerned most devoted Wal-Mart shoppers and I agree that most probably were not aware anyway.

Around these parts - within 50 miles of corporate headquarters and big Wal-Mart country - there is a certain breed of folks who buy everything at Wal-Mart no matter what. They don't shop at other stores or even bother to compare prices, they just go to Wal-Mart and blow 3/4 of the paycheck every week.

Not me.

Cranky
04-02-2008, 11:28 PM
While we're talking about this lady's situation... and I don't know what's necessarily right or wrong here and I'm not trying to judge... but if her son died and her short term memory loss makes her forget that he's gone, is it better to remind her that he died each time she asks about him and let it hit her like it's the first time hearing the news yet again, or just say "He's doing well, sends his love," knowing that she'll forget again soon and never be the wiser?

While I'm usually all for truth, I would think that the more compassionate thing, if this is a legitimately established pattern, would be the latter.


I'm with you on this one, Jcomp.

Roger J Carlson
04-02-2008, 11:32 PM
Laissez-faire capitalism is bad for a country's economy and the free market. It's what led this country into the Great Depression, and why we're going downhill now.Can I just quote Haskins here? http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2138822&postcount=18

Siddow
04-02-2008, 11:43 PM
So, is her husband going to marry her again?

Who is in charge of making medical decisions for her, now that she's a single gal? I'm glad she's no longer being sued, but I feel for her being divorced, even if she's unaware that she is.

Robert Toy
04-02-2008, 11:46 PM
While we're talking about this lady's situation... and I don't know what's necessarily right or wrong here and I'm not trying to judge... but if her son died and her short term memory loss makes her forget that he's gone, is it better to remind her that he died each time she asks about him and let it hit her like it's the first time hearing the news yet again, or just say "He's doing well, sends his love," knowing that she'll forget again soon and never be the wiser?

While I'm usually all for truth, I would think that the more compassionate thing, if this is a legitimately established pattern, would be the latter.
JC agree with you 100% - Why keep tormenting her?

InfinityGoddess
04-02-2008, 11:48 PM
So, is her husband going to marry her again?

Who is in charge of making medical decisions for her, now that she's a single gal? I'm glad she's no longer being sued, but I feel for her being divorced, even if she's unaware that she is.

Probably not. Even with the settlement that she now gets to keep, it's still not enough to cover her long term medical costs, except perhaps for the short term. She'll still end up needing Medicaid when all is said and done.

Robert Toy
04-02-2008, 11:52 PM
So, is her husband going to marry her again?

Who is in charge of making medical decisions for her, now that she's a single gal? I'm glad she's no longer being sued, but I feel for her being divorced, even if she's unaware that she is.

IMHO the “divorce” could have been a legal suggestion to get around some bureaucratic States rule(s) that would have limited her access to some form of health care, if she were married.

Cranky
04-02-2008, 11:54 PM
IMHO the “divorce” could have been a legal suggestion to get around some bureaucratic States rule(s) that would have limited her access to some form of health care, if she were married.

That's exactly what it was. Same thing happened with a couple I knew back in high school. The husband had chronic health problems from some disability, so he and his wife divorced.

She still took care of him, though, and IIRC, they lived together. Not sure.

blacbird
04-03-2008, 12:25 AM
A relevant commentary today:

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/?fpn=wal%20mart%20s%20public%20relations%20disaste r

caw