Friday, March 28, 2008

Walmart - The Worst

On Keith Olbermann's Worst Person's last night he gave the gold to Walmart for a truly unbelievable story. It seems one of their employees, Deborah Shank, got into a bad car accident and received brain damage so bad she is in a nursing home for the rest of her life and has no memory past the most recent minutes. She had insurance at Walmart and the bills were paid. The family sued the driver and was rewarded $470,000. Walmart then turned around and sued Deborah Shank to get the money to cover her medical expenses, they won and got the money back so now Deborah Shank's husband has to struggle to pay her outrageous medical bills.

Now let's be clear here, although this sounds about as awful as it can be Walmart has done nothing illegal or unusual - whether or not it is right goes to the heart of the greedy and corrupt culture that now exists in America, profits over people is the new golden rule. It is standard practice that money rewarded in a law suit for medical bills goes to the insurance company that paid those bills while the suit was ongoing. If you have medical insurance this will be in your contract somewhere.

And it gets worse, Deborah's son was killed in Iraq last week.

This is all over the news yet Walmart, as usual, has a tin ear for what is going on. People who hear this story say they will never shop in a Walmart again. This doesn't affect me as I already don't shop at Walmart and haven't for years and don't intend to ever do so. It is amazing that Walmart cannot see that to give the woman back her money would be the cheapest positive publicity they ever had. They don't want to set a precedent, you see. If they give the money back in one case suddenly anyone that this has ever happened to at Walmart will demand their money back and will have a case. It might actually cost them a couple of million dollars and your low prices will go right out the window and we can't have that now can we? And just imagine how many poor children will be out of work in China if Walmart has to cut back on their orders.

Keith put them in Worst Person's again tonight and says he will continue to do so. He must like tilting at windmills.

In 2007, the retail giant reported net sales in the third quarter of $90 billion.

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