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.
How do you prove it broke at all? Her word is all you have.
That is not the same situation. If she walked outside and the can broke open, she could ask for a replacement. And Walmart would oblige. Here is your new can of LaChoy.
They changed their bags to be “environmentally correct”. The bags are thinner and will start to decompose in sunlight in a hour or so.
That paid Associate stuffed over 7 lbs of goods in a single sack.
...and she accepted it. Case closed. Yeesh. I'm done with this. I've already wasted more energy than it deserves.
Oh, you're correct in everything you say, but regardless, Wal-Mart and the plaintiff (or rather, plaintiff's amubulance-chasing lawyer) will find a number and settle it quickly.
Yeah, you are right, this situation resulted in death.
Good karma on you brother.
“People know that today’s plastic bags are thin. Some customers only want one.
When I was last in the states, it was common for the checkout clerk to ask “paper or plastic”. Is that no longer a choice?
Where I live now, there are no paper bags for anything. Everything, down to a piece of candy, goes into a plastic bag. The bag thickness increases with size.
One day only criminals will have LaChoy.
+1 on that, dude.
Sometimes people make stupid decisions that result in their death. It doesn’t mean that someone else always has to be responsible. Happens all of the time. Kiddo died hiking in the national park here the other day. In fact, people die up there almost weekly. Maybe we should close those hiking paths, just too dangerous, they result in death?
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It’s why I ask for heavy stuff to be double bagged.
OK, sir, your total comes to $42.75. Will you be carrying your purchase in our plastic bags? Ah, you will? Then I need you to sign this waiver. If you don’t sign the waiver, your purchase price will be refunded and we will retain the merchandise and bags.
“I hereby affirm that the bags supplied by this store have been inspected by me and I see no danger in using them. However, in the event of a bag breaking, I do not hold the store or any employee, supplier, or related entity responsible. Signed, customer.”
Wow! I can’t believe all the people here who think there is a good case. I feel sorry for them. It is sad but come on??? All of you who agree with this lawsuit need to watch my favorite Southpark episode featuring the Sexual Harassment Panda.
OH! Bag politics are quite the rage right now. In some storms, grocery, you get a choice of paper, plastic, or the bags you bring in. But, then you get into places like Boulder where you will now pay a “bag tax” if you use a plastic bag because they are bad for the environment.
Liberals are so freaking confused. We had to switch to plastic because paper bags were destroying the forests. Then we had to bring back paper because they were more environmentally friendly. Now we have to use reusable bags because they are the “most” environmentally friendly. Except reusable bags are not clean, and spread things like salmonella and e-coli.
We are in a mess here.
How is this any different that reaching for a heavy box on the store shelf and having the bottom of the box fall out resulting in injury to your self?
Do we just accept shoddy crap with the caveat buyer beware?
Ever had a soda drink fridge pack break open and drop soda cans on your foot? It happened to me.