Disabled Woman To Pay Back Wal-Mart For Medical Expenses (Merged)

Stalker2

Registered User
Jun 7, 2001
25,916
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468
TRueWDTer
#1
Accident Victims Face
Grab for Legal Winnings


Wal-Mart Paid Bills
For Mrs. Shank, Then
Sued for Money Back

By VANESSA FUHRMANS
November 20, 2007

JACKSON, Mo. -- A collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons found a small source of solace: a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved. After legal fees and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust. It was to be used for Mrs. Shank's care.
Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Mrs. Shank's former employer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Vanessa Fuhrmans, the family Above, Deborah and Jim Shank. Right, a photo of the family before the accident.

LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119551952474798582.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone

Two years ago, the retail giant's health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart's favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, her family has to rely on Medicaid and Mrs. Shank's social-security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.
 

DanaReevesLungs

I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
Donator
Jun 9, 2005
9,134
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#2
Only reason I can see that Wal-Mart would be able to collect that money is because of some loophole in Missouri's health care laws.

People that deserve the financial gain get it taken away, while a ****** whore formerly employed by the Knicks gets called a "bitch" and a few other profanities is awarded $11M. Wonderful country we live in.
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
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#3
From the same article
The reason is a clause in Wal-Mart's health plan that Mrs. Shank didn't notice when she started stocking shelves at a nearby store eight years ago. Like most company health plans, Wal-Mart's reserves the right to recoup the medical expenses it paid for someone's treatment if the person also collects damages in an injury suit.

Until recently, many employers didn't vigilantly enforce the provision, and some states and federal courts didn't think the claim held water. But as the cost of covering workers continues to escalate, employers and health plans are getting more aggressive about going after the money. A Supreme Court ruling last year also has given them a clearer legal map to suing employees and winning.
It's a legal thing called subrogation .... An insurance carrier may reserve the "right of subrogation" in the event of a loss. This means that the company may choose to take action to recover the amount of a claim paid to a covered insured if the loss was caused by a third party. After expenses, the amount recovered must be divided proportionately with the insured to cover any deductible for which the insured was responsible.

Supposedly by doing this, it's saving money for the rest of the people who are enrolled in the plan.
 

HateMyName

Functioning Psychotic
Oct 15, 2004
2,278
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DC suburbs
#4
She should have stuck with public assistance, which Walmart encourages its employees to use.
She signed the deal, now Walmart's recouping its costs and keeping the shareholders happy. Corporations may not be responsible for all this country's woes, but sometimes they don't do the right thing.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
42,920
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#5
i think this story has been posted before, this is old. she had a shitty lawyer,
 

WhiteHonkyDevil

El hombre de los moleculos!
Dec 8, 2004
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#8
I don't know, after reading the article it made sense to me.

OH NOES! She might have to move from a private room to a SEMI-private room!?!?!?
 

LilJimmyRbinson

Best muppet ever
Nov 19, 2004
11,417
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#10
Brain damaged woman sued by Wal-Mart

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

Wal Mart sued a brain damaged woman for about $470,000.00 and won. You see, she had a health plan with Wal-Mart when she worked there. While employed there she was in a bad car accident which left her permanently brain damaged. Wal-Mart paid out $477,000 in medical payments under the plan. The woman then sued the trucking company which hit her and won a 1 million dollar verdict.

After legal fees were paid she and her husband had $417,000 left to take care of the woman for the rest of her life. they put it in a trust. The fine print of the Wal-Mart health plan says that if you win a jury verdict it goes to wal-Mart, so Wal-Mart sued and won. They won the appeal, too.

When asked why, Wal-mart basically said because it isnt fair to everyone else who works at Wal-Mart. They might as well have said in order to keep giving you everyday low prices.

Just as an added kick to the nuts, a week after losing all the money that she won in order to properly care for her now that she is brain damaged, her son was killed in Iraq.

I never shop there specifically for reasons such as this, and I feel like a total redneck just stepping foot in there. I understand why they needed to protect themselves legally, but do they really need another $400,000? I think the negative PR is more costly then leaving this poor lady alone.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
4,339
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Elkton, MD
#11
I thought someone already posted about this.

Anyway, it may be wrong on a moral level, but it was part of the health care plan that she signed up for. Her lawyer just sucks ass and didn't have the foresight to plan for the coverage of this area in the final settlement. This could have been easily explained in the lawsuit, and just as easily obtained in the final award.
 

LilJimmyRbinson

Best muppet ever
Nov 19, 2004
11,417
7,547
586
RI
#12
I thought someone already posted about this.

Anyway, it may be wrong on a moral level, but it was part of the health care plan that she signed up for. Her lawyer just sucks ass and didn't have the foresight to plan for the coverage of this area in the final settlement. This could have been easily explained in the lawsuit, and just as easily obtained in the final award.
Yeah, it's just as sad taht they spent more then half their settlement in lawyer fees.