Was an overstuffed, defective Walmart shopping bag to blame for Lynette Freis' death? Considering the strange way in which she met her demise, it might as well have been.
The Nebraska woman was being rung up at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bellevue on April 16th, 2010, when the cashier decided to place the two 42-ounce La Choy cans she purchased as well as a two-pound bag of rice in a single plastic bag.
While walking back to her car, Lynette's bag failed, causing one of the La Choy cans to fall on her right foot, resulting in a deep cut and the fracturing of her big toe.
She soon developed an infection that neither antibiotics nor two surgical procedures were able to cure, and ultimately passed away on March 12th, 2011.
In a wrongful death suit filed in February by Lynette's husband William, three defendants are blamed for setting in motion the chain of events that led to the Plattsmouth native's death: Wal-Mart Stores, for failing to train its employees in the art of double-bagging; Hilex Poly Co., for manufacturing a "defective" plastic bag; and Bunzi Distribution, for distributing a "defective" plastic bag.
In addition to $657,000 for medical and funeral expenses, William is also seeking an unspecified amount on behalf of his wife for her pain and suffering as well as the "loss of consortium."
Walmart released a statement extending condolences to the family and insisting that "customer safety is a top priority."
The case was transferred this week to the U.S. District Court in Omaha at Walmart's request.
[photo via Santa Barbara News Press Blog]