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Widower sues Wal-Mart, says bag caused death

Started 1377824051.733 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1378239000.273 by sidsmom

something to think about

Does it drive you crazy when store workers put just one or two items in each plastic bag? Well, there may be a reason they do that.

A Nebraska widower is suing Wal-Mart (WMT +0.07%) and the company that makes its plastic bags, claiming one bag that couldn't do the job set off a tragic series of events that ultimately led to his wife's death.

The Lincoln Journal Star brings us the story of Lynette Freis, who was shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bellevue, Neb., in 2010. Freis bought two 42-ounce cans of La Choy soy sauce and a 2-pound bag of rice, Lori Pilger reports.

The Wal-Mart cashier put all the items into one plastic bag, which broke as Freis was walking to her car. According to the lawsuit, one can of La Choy fell on Freis' foot, broke her toe and made a deep gash.

That break in the skin led to a serious infection that could not be banished even after two surgeries and many treatments of antibiotics, the lawsuit said, according to The Journal Star. Freis died in March 2011.

Her widower, William Freis, is now suing for about $650,000, saying Wal-Mart didn't properly train its workers to fill bags. He is also suing the maker and distributor of the bags.

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scotttie1377824271.4435495 PostsRegistered 6/15/2006

Wonder why she didn't ask the bagger to put them in separate bags.

Mrs Doubtfire: 'He was quite fond of the drink. It was the drink that killed him.'
Miranda: 'How awful. He was an alcoholic?'
Mrs Doubtfire: 'No, he was hit by a Guinness truck.'

Please could somebody roll a 5 or an 8?

FUTURE1377824289.2111518 PostsRegistered 5/18/2008
He will probably win.

di-mc1377824356.277220 PostsRegistered 12/4/2006the real world

I don't know if it's about plastic bags staying in landfills forever or what, but they do seem to be very, very thin, much thinner than they used to be. I use them to put scooped kitty litter in, and I have to double up because the bags usually have a hole in them. Over-loading one of these bags would easily cause it to break.

The answer seems to be using your own heavy duty fabric bag.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

FUTURE1377824374.14711518 PostsRegistered 5/18/2008
On 8/29/2013 beammeupscottie said:

Wonder why she didn't ask the bagger to put them in separate bags.

I agree. I do that if they ever try to put several heavy/glass things in a bag. That's why I bring my own recyclable bags and bag my items myself, when I can. Then I don't get bread and bricks in the same bag. ;)

Tissyanne1377824394.973159 PostsRegistered 12/6/2012
It makes me crazy when they overload bags. I buy bottled iced coffee in cartons of four. I ask for double bagging. Gotta keep an eye out.

When someone shows you how they are, believe them.

MOONRISER1377824424.9871798 PostsRegistered 8/4/2013
That is a sad thing,but the suing is what makes things go up in price. I would think it was a faulty bag, and how do you sue for that. Every time someone brings a suit against a co. We all lose.

All the world's a stage------W.Shakespeare

TrackerGal1377824905.97723626 PostsRegistered 8/7/2007

Sounds like his wife had something wrong with her in the first place if a wound wouldn't heal. Sad that he isn't grieving,just trying to find a way to make money off her death.....Another lawyer ambulance story. There are no mistakes when God decides to take us. It was her time.

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sidsmom1377824944.314849 PostsRegistered 8/11/2007Dallas!

I think he should sue La Choy. Or the people who made Chinese food. Or just the whole country of China......sad thing is, he'll probably win. And the employees wonder why they make minimum wage....silly lawsuits like this.

croemer1377825197.8873988 PostsRegistered 1/29/2009

I feel bad for him but things happen and this was not foreseeable. I think this suit shouldn't go forward...sets a really bad president.

"Normal is just a setting on the dryer."

lovescats1377825267.0931592 PostsRegistered 6/16/2006SW PA

I wonder why they didn't sue in the beginning for the broken toe. I always just take extra bags off the rack if they bag my stuff too heavy or I tell them it's too heavy

And if antibiotics aren't taken correctly they don't work either

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Jules52801377826175.8838685 PostsRegistered 6/25/2013Land of Oz

Walmart can afford it, they will most likely settle out of court. When I go there, or to my local grocery store I always ask them to put as much in the bag as they can. I never want a bag for gallons of milk or big items that I can just put in my car and carry into the house. I try to cut down on the number of plastic bags I use, even though I recycle them. Its unfortunate that happened to the lady, don't think Walmart is at fault, they could have used a cart to transport the bags to their car. Walmart keeps so many employees on part-time basis so they don't have to pay out full benefits, they have a pretty deep well to draw from when they get hit with random lawsuits. JMO

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." ~ Charles R. Swindoll

jaburg1377826227.703993 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 8/29/2013 sidsmom said:

I think he should sue La Choy. Or the people who made Chinese food. Or just the whole country of China......sad thing is, he'll probably win. And the employees wonder why they make minimum wage....silly lawsuits like this.

Walmart workers do not make minimum wage due to lawsuits. All the profits go to the top. The Walton family are richer than Croesus! For Pete's sake!

If YOUR spouse died in these EXACT circumstances you would not consider your right to sue? This person would otherwise still be living. Are you of the opinion her life was worth nothing?

57babe1377826328.588638 PostsRegistered 8/21/2010

Strange, I just came home from Walmart and complained to my husband about the thin, cheap bags Walmart uses. The handles (if you can call them handles) stretched into thin strands of plastic and almost broke apart while bringing the groceries upstairs.

Who hasn't had something heavy drop out of those cheap bags? I'm sure there must be more people that have been injured from having something dropped on their feet.

This is tragic. I hope the man wins the lawsuit. The bags should have doubled or tripled.


Lion1377826915.9439895 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

There are many stories of perfectly healthy people - of all ages - getting deadly infections from skin wounds. One does not have to have health problems to get those infections.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
- John Lennon

MOONRISER1377826998.61798 PostsRegistered 8/4/2013
When the stores used to use paper bags they often got wet and you lose everything with them too. Unless everyone has gobs of cloth bags, these accidents are bound to happen. The consumer needs to be constantly aware. I really don't see the the lawsuit in this mans favor. It just seems to be another cause misused. My opinion only.

All the world's a stage------W.Shakespeare

sidsmom1377827165.994849 PostsRegistered 8/11/2007Dallas!

Why aren't y'all using your own recycled bags? Unless it's your 1st trip EVER to Walmart, there's a big "DUH" factor when someone complains & not do anything to rectify it. I like looking at the bigger picture (recycling,etc) instead of one step ahead of me.

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Lion1377827238.2979895 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 8/29/2013 MOONRISER said: That is a sad thing,but the suing is what makes things go up in price. I would think it was a faulty bag, and how do you sue for that. Every time someone brings a suit against a co. We all lose.

I disagree.

There have been many reasonable & justified lawsuits over the years, both private and class action, that have resulted in changes that have made things safer, fairer, and better for all of us.

I, for one, am grateful to those who have cared enough to try to change things through legal means. We don't all lose every time a lawsuit is filed.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
- John Lennon

TrackerGal1377827435.95723626 PostsRegistered 8/7/2007
On 8/29/2013 sidsmom said:

Why aren't y'all using your own recycled bags? Unless it's your 1st trip EVER to Walmart, there's a big "DUH" factor when someone complains & not do anything to rectify it. I like looking at the bigger picture (recycling,etc) instead of one step ahead of me.

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Was the lady incapable of knowing the bag was to light for her items? Even I know from years of shopping, paper and plastic bags should be held with one hand underneath,especially with heavy cans. Why are we always blaming others for our mistakes? She could have asked for more than one plastic bag.....

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Lion1377827478.3279895 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 8/29/2013 sidsmom said:

Why aren't y'all using your own recycled bags? Unless it's your 1st trip EVER to Walmart, there's a big "DUH" factor when someone complains & not do anything to rectify it. I like looking at the bigger picture (recycling,etc) instead of one step ahead of me.

Last edited on 8/29/2013

I always ask for double bagging and, if possible, paper bags.

I also ask them not to pack the bags too heavy.

I've had one too many bags break from being packed too heavy. And, the plastic bags are especially susceptible to breaking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
- John Lennon

TrackerGal1377827547.04723626 PostsRegistered 8/7/2007
On 8/29/2013 Lion said:
On 8/29/2013 sidsmom said:

Why aren't y'all using your own recycled bags? Unless it's your 1st trip EVER to Walmart, there's a big "DUH" factor when someone complains & not do anything to rectify it. I like looking at the bigger picture (recycling,etc) instead of one step ahead of me.

Last edited on 8/29/2013

I always ask for double bagging and, if possible, paper bags.

I also ask them not to pack the bags too heavy.

I've had one too many bags break from being packed too heavy. And, the plastic bags are especially susceptible to breaking.

My point exactly. Who in their right mind does not know that paper and plastic bags should sometimes be held with 2 hands,one on top and one underneath.

TrackerGal1377827652.79723626 PostsRegistered 8/7/2007

And how do they ever pick the figure of 650,000? Half for the lawyer and half for the family member?

MOONRISER1377827879.5231798 PostsRegistered 8/4/2013
On 8/29/2013 Lion said:
On 8/29/2013 MOONRISER said: That is a sad thing,but the suing is what makes things go up in price. I would think it was a faulty bag, and how do you sue for that. Every time someone brings a suit against a co. We all lose.

I disagree.

There have been many reasonable & justified lawsuits over the years, both private and class action, that have resulted in changes that have made things safer, fairer, and better for all of us.

I, for one, am grateful to those who have cared enough to try to change things through legal means. We don't all lose every time a lawsuit is filed.

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I totally agree with your statement. I guess I should have clarified it, meaning there have been a million lawsuits for a multitude of things that were doubtful at best. The money it takes to keep legal staff running for every time this happens, increases the price we pay at checkout. We all end up paying for a lot of so called injuries that were not the fault of the business. Also the people suing are losing money. I guess the lawyers are the ones going to the bank.

All the world's a stage------W.Shakespeare

sophiamarie1377828448.4571827 PostsRegistered 8/8/2013Florida

How does one set a figure of $650,00 for the life of a loved one? What about $5 mil or something in that area???

I bring my own Publix canvas bags with me. I have 20 and a couple of insulated bags too. Yesterday, I forgot to bring them and I swear, the bagger (he was about 97) was about to put 4 tomatoes in a plastic bag and then, bananas on top of that. I stopped him and told him to move on to the next aisle and I would do my own bagging.

These people get absolutely NO training in how to bag and what items to put in with other items. You don't put meat in with produce, or a bunch of cans in one bag. There is no common sense when it comes to bagging. At least, in Publix there isn't. JMO {#emotions_dlg.confused1}

**gag me with a spoon**

Lindsays G­randma1377831538.424245 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Arizona, formerly San Fernando Valley, CA

I bring my cloth bags with me. It is amazing how many items they put in one bag alone. I do not like plastic bags and the last thing I want to do when I leave a grocery store is unload 20 bags into the car and unload them when I get home.

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

raven-blac­kbird1377831783.77313931 PostsRegistered 1/2/2009California

I have these way cool cloth shopping bags that are almost like a foldable box with handles that I can stuff full with stuff........I use those instead of what the store offers.................................raven

"Polite conversation is rarely either."
Fran Lebowitz

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