Lawsuit alleges ripped Walmart bag results in death
A lawsuit has been filed in Nebraska by a man who alleges his wife died following a series of events that catapulted after a plastic Walmart grocery bag ripped.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Lynette Freis, 56, of Plattsmouth, Neb., suffered injuries when the Walmart grocery bag ripped, dropping groceries on her foot that resulted in injuries. Reports indicate that the Walmart cashier bagged the items and handed the bag to Mrs. Freis.
Mrs. Freis carrying a single plastic grocery bag from Walmart that contained three items, a two-pound bag of rice and two 42-ounce cans of La Choy. As she carried the bag to her car, according to reports, the bag broke. One of the cans of La Choy struck Freis’ right foot, breaking her big toe and resulting in a deep cut, the lawsuit states.
The woman made the purchase at the Bellevue, Neb., store on April 16, 2010.
Gage Cobb, the attorney for William Freis, said that Lynette Freis’ injuries resulted in an infection and despite two surgeries and multiple rounds of aggressive antibiotic treatment, her condition continued to decline and the infection spread throughout her body. Her injuries resulted in hospitalizations “and ultimately resulted in her death on March 12, 2011,” according to the lawsuit.
It is argued in the lawsuit that Walmart does not properly train employs to double bag or separate heavy items, therefore, the retailer is negligent. The plastic bag’s manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co., is also named as a defendant, with the allegations that the bag was defective. Also included in the lawsuit is Bunzl Distribution, who distributes the plastic bags to Walmart stores.
The lawsuit is seeking $656,000 for medical expenses, plus additional amounts for Mrs. Freis’ pain and suffering and funeral and burial expenses as well as her husband’s loss of consortium. Although the lawsuit was filed in Sarpy County District Court, it was transferred to U.S. District Court in Omaha last week. Walmart attorney Heidi Guttau-Fox made the request for case to be transferred to federal court.
“We extend our condolences to Ms. Freis’ family for their loss. Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously anytime an injury is reported in one of our stores. Walmart is thoroughly investigating the Plaintiff’s allegations, and we look forward to responding with the court,” a Walmart representative said in a statement.