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Plattsmouth man sues Wal-Mart, says overfilled plastic bag led to wife's death
Journal Star ^ | Aug 28, 2013 | Lori Pilger

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Nebraska
KEYWORDS: lawsuits; plasticbags; walmart
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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.
1 posted on 08/28/2013 5:42:49 PM PDT by kevcol
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To: kevcol

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.


2 posted on 08/28/2013 5:45:53 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: kevcol
Is that what they call it now?

/johnny

3 posted on 08/28/2013 5:46:02 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: kevcol

Why didn’t his wife ask to have it re bagged in two separate bags?


4 posted on 08/28/2013 5:46:11 PM PDT by matt04
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To: kevcol

Life’s a bitch .

Patechia if you break a bone in yer foot.


5 posted on 08/28/2013 5:47:10 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: kevcol

That’s a lot of Beef Chow Mein!


6 posted on 08/28/2013 5:47:50 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: kevcol
1) I hope this is one of those cases of an insurance company (perhaps unbeknownst to the actual "claimant") suing everyone and everything in the hopes of getting something covered;

2) How in the world does one go about proving, in court, that a plastic bag held "too many things"?

7 posted on 08/28/2013 5:48:44 PM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1)
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To: kevcol

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


8 posted on 08/28/2013 5:48:48 PM PDT by matt04
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To: kevcol

Now you know why we call that town PlattsMETH!!!


9 posted on 08/28/2013 5:49:14 PM PDT by MountainDad (Support your local Militia)
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To: PGR88

Clown?
In my view Walmart has culpability.


10 posted on 08/28/2013 5:49:41 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: kevcol

11 posted on 08/28/2013 5:50:02 PM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: kevcol

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.


12 posted on 08/28/2013 5:50:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: kevcol

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.


13 posted on 08/28/2013 5:50:33 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Governor Sarah Heath Palin for President of the United States in 2016)
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To: kevcol

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.


14 posted on 08/28/2013 5:50:57 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: PGR88
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.

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.

15 posted on 08/28/2013 5:51:14 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: kevcol
At some point, Walmart changed their bags and they're so thin now that I couldn't make it home without at least one or two ripping. I always ask them to double bag now because of this. The same thing happened with Publix, as well.

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?

16 posted on 08/28/2013 5:51:18 PM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: kevcol

I’m not sure which is the proper progressive response...

Mandating only small light cans of food

or

Requiring stores to provide steel toe shoes for customers


17 posted on 08/28/2013 5:51:43 PM PDT by nascarnation (Democrats control the Presidency, Senate, and Media. It's an uphill climb....)
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To: matt04
Why didn’t his wife ask to have it re bagged in two separate bags?

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.

18 posted on 08/28/2013 5:52:23 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: mylife

Nonsense. Don’t be silly.


19 posted on 08/28/2013 5:52:26 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: kevcol
Mrs. Palsgraf to the white courtesy telephone please.


20 posted on 08/28/2013 5:52:54 PM PDT by Benito Cereno
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To: Ramius

So the customer caused the problem?


21 posted on 08/28/2013 5:53:25 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: kevcol

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%.


22 posted on 08/28/2013 5:53:48 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate." George F. Will)
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To: Ramius

A person is dead here.


23 posted on 08/28/2013 5:54:11 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: matt04

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.


24 posted on 08/28/2013 5:54:24 PM PDT by beelzepug (if any alphabets are watchin', I'll be coming home right after the meetin')
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To: PGR88

But on the other hand to show that you can’t get away with frivolous law suits ... show an example to others.


25 posted on 08/28/2013 5:55:36 PM PDT by SkyDancer (A white woman would be accused of racism if she gave birth to a white baby.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Freis, Lynette M.
Dec 5, 1954 - Mar 13, 2011

Preceded in death by parents, Bernard H. and Joyce A. Roza; sister, Sharry; brothers, Paul and Chuck. Survived by husband, William S. Freis
[LINK]

kind of young to be preceded in death by both parents, a sister and 2 brothers...isn't it?
26 posted on 08/28/2013 5:55:37 PM PDT by kevcol
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To: BenLurkin

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.


27 posted on 08/28/2013 5:56:37 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: kevcol

Maybe they all are accident prone.


28 posted on 08/28/2013 5:57:01 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: kevcol

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.


29 posted on 08/28/2013 5:57:18 PM PDT by BilLies (WHOSE YOUR DADDY, BARAKO?)
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To: mylife

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.


30 posted on 08/28/2013 6:01:47 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: kevcol

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....


31 posted on 08/28/2013 6:03:18 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: BenLurkin

Try a Lowes bag for flimsy.


32 posted on 08/28/2013 6:03:25 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: ican'tbelieveit

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?


33 posted on 08/28/2013 6:04:06 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: mylife
In my view Walmart has culpability.

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.

34 posted on 08/28/2013 6:05:50 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: mylife

Did I say she was a moron? The rest of your questions to me are irrelevant because I never said she was a moron.


35 posted on 08/28/2013 6:06:24 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: liberalh8ter

Yeah, good point did she treat her foot wound properly or did the hospital?


36 posted on 08/28/2013 6:06:27 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: kevcol

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.


37 posted on 08/28/2013 6:07:43 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: ican'tbelieveit

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.


38 posted on 08/28/2013 6:08:35 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Albion Wilde

And the person who bagged the goods was being PAID to do so.


39 posted on 08/28/2013 6:09:46 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: mylife

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.


40 posted on 08/28/2013 6:11:01 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: Ramius

She dropped nothing but money at the cash register.


41 posted on 08/28/2013 6:12:15 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: mylife
A person is dead here.

So?

42 posted on 08/28/2013 6:12:59 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: kevcol

They’s crackas, throw it out...


43 posted on 08/28/2013 6:13:50 PM PDT by MrBambaLaMamba (Obama lies, smokes, blasphemes, eats pork, reads your mail, eavesdrops and drinks during Ramadan)
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To: mylife

Sigh. And WTF is your problem.


44 posted on 08/28/2013 6:14:22 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: NonValueAdded

I was thinking the same thing. Knowing you have giant cans in flimsy bags, she chose to not use a cart.


45 posted on 08/28/2013 6:15:12 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: ican'tbelieveit

My problem is this was not self inflicted.


46 posted on 08/28/2013 6:15:30 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Ramius

I just figured it out, the poster is William Freis


47 posted on 08/28/2013 6:15:36 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: mylife

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.


48 posted on 08/28/2013 6:16:19 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: AlexW; mylife
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.

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?

49 posted on 08/28/2013 6:17:36 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: kevcol

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.


50 posted on 08/28/2013 6:17:59 PM PDT by Revel
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