Skip to comments.Plattsmouth man sues Wal-Mart, says overfilled plastic bag led to wife's death
Posted on 08/28/2013 5:42:49 PM PDT by kevcol
A Plattsmouth woman's widower has sued Wal-Mart and the maker of its plastic bags, alleging an overfilled bag given to her at a Bellevue store broke, and, in a strange twist, led to her death.
William Freis of Plattsmouth said his wife, Lynette, went grocery shopping April 16, 2010, at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on 15th Street and the cashier gave her one plastic bag for two 42-ounce cans of La Choy and a 2-pound bag of rice.
On her way to the car, the bag broke and one of the cans of La Choy fell on her right foot, breaking her big toe and causing a deep cut, the lawsuit says.
William Freis' attorney, Gage Cobb, said that led to an infection.
Despite multiple rounds of antibiotics and two surgical procedures, Lynette Freis' condition declined and infection spread throughout her body, which led to hospitalizations "and ultimately resulted in her death on March 12, 2011," according to the lawsuit.
Freis originally sued Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the distributor of its plastic bags, Missouri-based Bunzl Distribution, and the manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co. of South Carolina, in Sarpy County District Court.
Late last week, the case was transferred to U.S. District Court in Omaha.
The wrongful death suit alleges Wal-Mart was negligent for failing to properly train its employees to prevent them from overfilling grocery bags and knowing when to double bag a customer's groceries.
And, the suit says, the defendants provided Lynette Freis with a defective grocery bag.
Her estate is seeking more than $656,000 in medical expenses, plus an unspecified amount for her pain and suffering and funeral and burial expenses, as well as her husband's loss of consortium.
Neither Wal-Mart nor the other defendants has filed an answer to the allegations yet, but Wal-Mart attorney Heidi Guttau-Fox sought the move to federal court.
Reached Tuesday, Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove extended condolences to Lynette Freis' family.
"Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores," he said.
Hargrove said the company is investigating the allegations and will respond appropriately in court.
Its easier and cheaper for Wal-Mart to settle for $75k, in exchange for silence from this clown, vs spending the time and legal fees to defeat him in court.
Why didn’t his wife ask to have it re bagged in two separate bags?
Life’s a bitch .
Patechia if you break a bone in yer foot.
That’s a lot of Beef Chow Mein!
2) How in the world does one go about proving, in court, that a plastic bag held "too many things"?
Why is he not suing La Choy and the rice vendor? If the cans and bags were not so heavy they would have killed the poor women. /s
Now you know why we call that town PlattsMETH!!!
In my view Walmart has culpability.
Shop a lot at WalMart.
They have the flimsiest bags of any store I’ve seen. This purchase should have been double bagged — or in multiple bas.
This guy may have a case.
I’m shocked. Usually, the Wal-Mart cashier will triple-bag a fricking greeting card, and use a single bag for each item. I usually bag my own stuff at the store because of this.
Wal-Mart tends to underbag. I have to tell them not to overload bags holding canned cat food, and to double bag all the bags containing canned goods. I have to haul everything up about 20 steps from street level~~a torn bag with stuff cascading out is a pain.
I don't know about this case, but I've heard that WalMart takes ~every~ slip and fall type lawsuit to court. They never settle.
While I understand the can landed on her foot and all but how can they be sure the infection wasn't the result of the hospital or her own care of the wound?
I’m not sure which is the proper progressive response...
Mandating only small light cans of food
Requiring stores to provide steel toe shoes for customers
Because that would require a) critical thinking; b) responsibility for one's actions.
These have been bred out of the species over the last 50 years.
Nonsense. Don’t be silly.
So the customer caused the problem?
OTOH, Walmart provided shopping carts such that the plaintiff need not carry a plastic bag to her car. Her decision to forgo the cart was a contributory factor, perhaps in excess of 50%.
A person is dead here.
I’ve had that happen, where the checker failed to double bag some heavy items. I wasn’t killed or injured, obviously, but cleaning up the glass and contents of two large jars of sauerkraut was no fun.
But on the other hand to show that you can’t get away with frivolous law suits ... show an example to others.
Their bags have holes in them when they are NEW. I’ve had things similar to this happen to me there. IMO this case should not be dismissed lightly. Maybe the answer will be BYOB.
Maybe they all are accident prone.
Next time she should call a Chinese restaurant for delivery, assuming she does not live in the inner city.............OOps too late for that...........
Well let that be a lesson to the rest of you.
When I die can make all the jokes you want.
BS. People have to take responsibility for their own safety. And, if anyone has culpability, it is the insane enviro-whackos who insisted the plastic bags were killing the environment, never decomposed in landfills, that caused plastic bag makers to make their damn bags so flimsy that they can’t hold more than a couple of items.
I think there should be a “freak accident clause” preventing such crazy lawsuits.
It is like suing your neighbor if lightning strikes you while you are in his yard....
Try a Lowes bag for flimsy.
So if the can of LaChoy had exploded it would be her fault?
You think she is a moron because she did not wear steel toe boots to go grocery shopping?
There are so many other factors at play here. A grown woman should have known to ask for another bag or a double bag; presumably she has been shopping all her married life.
Did she smoke or drink? Was her diet healthy? If her habits were unhealthy, her immune system was too weak due to her own choices to resist an infection.
Did I say she was a moron? The rest of your questions to me are irrelevant because I never said she was a moron.
Yeah, good point did she treat her foot wound properly or did the hospital?
It is quite Amazing that a cut toe can lead to death.
She obviously did nothing to treat it before it festered
and infected her entire body.
By your logic, if someone Tbones you at 70 MPH running a red light in a 35 MPH zone it is no ones fault but your own, because you know the streets can be dangerous.
And the person who bagged the goods was being PAID to do so.
Of course she did. She dropped her own property on her own foot. Nobody did it to her. This case needs to be laughed out of court and they should be fined for filing it in the first place, and repay defendants costs to date.
She dropped nothing but money at the cash register.
They’s crackas, throw it out...
Sigh. And WTF is your problem.
I was thinking the same thing. Knowing you have giant cans in flimsy bags, she chose to not use a cart.
My problem is this was not self inflicted.
I just figured it out, the poster is William Freis
She picked up the bag knowing what was in it. She broke the bag. She dropped the can. I have no idea what sorts of bad decisions she made so to die of such a thing... But nobody else was involved. Her bag. Her can. Her toe. Her problem.
If I were Walmart's legal team, I would want to know her blood sugar readings and whether she had diabetes, poor circulation or any other condition that would cause her to be so intractably infected in the foot. She looked pretty hefty, too -- no offense. I just don't believe you can hold merchants responsible for freak accidents just because they happen on their property, unless there really is negligence.
I don't see any negligence here. People know that today's plastic bags are thin. Some customers only want one and don't want to be bothered with extras; others need extras for such reasons as having to ride a bus with their groceries. All you have to do is ask the clerk what you want, or take extras yourself -- they are right there for the taking, as are the shopping carts to carry your stuff all the way out to your car.
If the deceased failed to take such commonsense steps to protect her own safety, why should the consumer have to foot the bill, as all costs will eventually be passed to them?
I have to admit that Wal-mart bags are the worst. Many times I have picked one up and one of the handles will rip just like they were made of paper. They are so thin that it is just pathetic.