Ah, Wal-Mart. The unfurled flags, the cheery patriotism, the aw-shucks Americana.
Prices are always falling at Wal-Mart, but the speed with which this American corporation slashes its ethics continues to best even the cheapest foreign-made widget’s gleeful descent into the dollar bin.
A woman named Debbie Shank was severely injured and permanently disabled in a semi-truck accident seven years ago. The courts awarded her $700,000 in damages. After legal fees and expenses, her family was left with $417,000 to provide for the vital medical care she’ll need for the rest of her life. Wal-Mart is having none of it. The global giant has sued the Shanks – Debbie’s husband runs a tanning salon and works in maintenance to make ends meet – for $470,000. It turns out there is a provision in some companies’ health care plans that lets the company seize any financial compensation awarded by a third party (the trucking company in this case) to victims. Few companies ever took advantage of this loophole, but Wal-Mart is leading the way in the crackdown against those pesky employees. This is almost as good as Dead Peasant’s Insurance!