Depressing Wal-Mart Story Has Marginally Happy Ending

Have you heard the depressing Wal-Mart story? A 52-year-old former Wal-Mart employee named Deborah Shank was permanently brain-damaged after a collision with a semi eight years ago. She won a lawsuit against the trucking company, pocketing $417,000 for her future medical care. Then Wal-Mart sued her to recover $470,000. Then Mrs. Shank's son died in Iraq! Oh, fun. It gets better!

Wal-Mart won the suit because, like most employers, Wal-Mart "reserves the right to recoup the medical expenses it paid for someone's treatment if the person also collects damages in an injury suit." So if you are catastrophically injured, it is not actually worth it to sue anyone for damages, ever, because your employer will just politely ask for all the money you get after you pay your legal fees, which you are required to do yourself, under the law. Ha!

Unless, of course, your case ends up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, in which case a flurry of negative publicity will eventually, months later, after the Supreme Court refuses to hear your case, embarrass your employer enough to get them to drop the whole thing. So next time this happens to you, just try that approach. Maybe instead of appealing to the law, which isn't really on your side, you should just contact Edelman PR directly?

We understand that while Hillary Clinton was on Wal-Mart's board of directors she was too busy searching for women venal enough to help diversify Wal-Mart's management to do anything about their poisonous corporate culture and atrocious labor practices, but maybe her new health care plan will do something about situations like this.