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Wal-Mart Sticks it to Iraq War KIA's Brain-Damaged Mother

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  • CraigGingold
    What a godawful story -- like something straight out of Charles Dickens... as retold by Franz Kafka. How did Michael Moore miss *this* one?? (Actually, Sicko
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2008
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      What a godawful story -- like something straight out of
      Charles Dickens... as retold by Franz Kafka. How did
      Michael Moore miss *this* one?? (Actually, Sicko was
      already completed by the time this first hit the news in
      a big way last year.) Last week the story was picked up
      by CNN (see below) & Keith Olbermeyer, among others.

      No surprise that WalmartWatch has been running a
      major campaign around this case (see below for more).


      For my money, the best piece I've seen was this column,
      published in the possibly legendary Niagara Falls Reporter.

      A word of warning though: Be sure you're in a safe place
      with no hot beverages when you're reading this. Seriously --
      if you don't bounce off the ceiling (or collapse on the floor,
      as the case may be) you may not have a pulse.

      April 1 2008


      By Mike Hudson

      I've long detested Wal-Mart. More than any other institution... <snip>


      Anybody who wants a detailed straight-news account can check out:

      Accident Victims Face Grab for Legal Winnings
      Wal-Mart Paid Bills For Mrs. Shank, Then Sued for Money Back
      Wall Street Journal | November 20, 2007


      WalmartWatch.com is a campaign of Five Stones and
      The Center for Community and Corporate Ethics

      Petition campaign & video of CNN report:

      Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008

      We received this note from Debbie Shank’s son, Christopher. He writes to address
      some of the issues surrounding the case, and explain just how deeply Wal-Mart’s
      actions have impacted his family.

      First of all, let it be known that I’m Debbie Shank’s son, and not some random
      dude putting in his two cents. That being said, here’s the skinny…

      When we sued the trucking company, our lawyer told us that the only amount we
      could get off of the trucking company was what the truck was insured for...
      namely, a million dollars. As they were a small trucking company, they had no
      real net worth, and the amount we could sue them for was just for their

      When we received the settlement of 1 million, a third of that was paid out to the
      lawyers. After that, my dad was given a portion of that to make up for lost
      wages. We told Wal-Mart about all of this, and they basically said “Okay.” and
      did nothing. We set up the rest, 417K, to take care of mom. We took care of her
      for three years on that, but when the statute of limitations was set to expire on
      Wal-Mart suing us, they literally had days left, they filed to sue us. Our lawyer
      told us at the time that they were only doing this to keep their options open,
      but Wal-Mart decided that they wanted to go after the settlement, as they say
      time and time again, “out of fairness for everyone in the medical plan”.

      And so it went. The first ruling came August 31, 2006. At the time it was the
      worst thing that had happened. Six days later, my brother was killed. Dad said
      “Fine. Whatever. They won.” We were without any will to keep going. Our lawyers
      said “We’ll appeal. You just don’t worry about things. We’ll take care of all of

      Appeal after appeal, Wal-Mart won them all. We finally appealed to the Supreme
      Court. Last week, they said they weren’t going to take our case. We lost. Now,
      Wal-Mart can’t take any more money than we had in the trust fund, so they get
      that. But, we still have 150K in outstanding medical bills. We have a fund set up
      that has accepted donations, but it quickly depletes due to bills. Even with
      government assistance, we still must pay anywhere from 500-1000 per month to keep
      mom in the nursing home, and that’s not counting bills she has from trips to the
      hospital (a couple weeks ago she was bleeding internally) . The outstanding bills
      we have, they can sue my father directly, so it’s looking like he may have to
      sell his home at least. My youngest brother, if he wants to have the money to go
      to college, will himself either have to take out thousands in loans or join the

      Dad has worked all his life, was set to retire in 5 years, but now it’s looking
      as if he’ll have to work longer and longer. Plus he has cancer to worry about.

      So, that’s the story. I have a feeling that somewhere along the lines, be it by
      Wal-Mart, the courts, the lawyers, the trucking company, or a combination of all,
      we’ve been taken advantage of. We could only sue for so much, we had to pay the
      lawyers, the courts decided to maintain the status quo, and Wal-Mart sold it’s

      Whoever’s fault it is, we’re screwed. Plain and simple.



      And lastly: Yet another good reason why we need SINGLE PAYER:
      a scathing analytical response to the WSJ article posted by a reader
      on the WalmartWatch.com website:

      Subrogation is not health insurance. It is a concealed alteration (subsitution,
      transference, displacement) of your legal rights under the color of health care.
      You have assigned your legal right of recovery and damages unsuspectingly to non
      health care providers.

      The ‘policy’ acted only as a ‘loan product’ ultimately for legal recovery for
      WalMart for which Shank paid an interest rate ‘premium’ to use. When not used,
      health care insurance premiums are not refunded to the policy holders under a
      ‘risk versus claim’ dollar calculation and estimate of payouts and profit system.
      This is the basic method of insurance companies making a profit from policy
      premiums. Collectively the premiums are pooled together (and invested) for the
      asset base to payout claims on health care expenditures. This is not what WalMart
      wants to do. In the Shanks case the premium was ultimately taken as profit only
      for the issuer (WalMart) without the intent of health care at all but rather the
      seizure of a legal right through ‘subrogation’ producing additional profits
      beyond the premium collections themselves and the asset base for health care
      payouts. You will note that the health care policy that WalMart suckered Shank
      into buying does not cover her health care costs now and that policy does not now
      even exist for her health care. She paid her premiums on a health care insurance
      policy from WalMart. Now WalMart has ‘dumped’ her onto the state for her health
      care costs.

      Recovery of health care cost from a ‘health insurance policy’ payout is beyound
      the scope of the advertised claim of ‘health care insurance’. Financial recovery
      for the issuer and ‘subrogation’ remains only as a concealed legal concept. It is
      not about health care, medical practice, medications or doctor visits and
      hospitalization etc. Nobody would buy this ‘health insurance’ loan product if
      they knew and understood the reality of the scam. Therefore the concealment and
      defrauding of the Shanks and the subsequent embarrassment from and for the ‘love
      of money’ psychopaths at WalMart HQ in Bentonville.




      [==> If you're not part of the solution... you're part of the problem <==]

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