November 28th, 2007 03:35 EST
Wal-Mart Watch to Raise Money for Former Wal-Mart Employee Deborah Shank
Wal-Mart Watch will launch an online fundraiser today to assist former Wal-Mart employee Deborah Shank and her family of Jackson, Missouri with Mrs. Shank's medical expenses after Wal-Mart demanded repayment for its health care plan costs from the family. The organization also pledged to match all funds raised.
A November 20 Wall Street Journal article entitled "Accident Victims Face Grab for Legal Winnings," reported on Mrs. Shank's story. When she was left brain damaged after a tragic collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago, her Wal-Mart health care plan paid her initial medical bills. Wal-Mart subsequently sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it paid in medical expenses, plus the company's legal expenses and attorney's fees. Wal-Mart's lawsuit demands will completely drain the settlement money set aside in a trust for Mrs. Shank's future care and force her to rely on public assistance for her medical and living expenses.
As Wal-Mart touts its new health care plan and launches public relations campaigns to repair its damaged reputation, this story once again exposes the company's poor business practices and total disregard for the health and welfare of its employees.
"Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott's decision to take away the money that Mrs. Shank would use for her medical expenses represents the kind of failure of moral leadership that we have sadly come to expect from him," said David Nassar, Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director. "The Shanks are a hard-working American family - the kind that Lee Scott currently claims Wal-Mart helps to 'save money and live better.' Unfortunately, the Shank family is doing neither."
Wal-Mart Watch will raise funds for the Shank family and tell their story to remind consumers this holiday season that the low costs Wal-Mart provide come with a very high price paid by American families like the Shanks every day.
"Lee Scott will bring home more than $400,000 this week alone," Nassar added. "If Wal-Mart needs that money so badly, perhaps Scott should pay it himself. Or, maybe the Walton family, some of the wealthiest individuals in the nation, would be willing to pay it to attempt to quell the moral outrage this story is generating against their father's company. But, we will not wait for Lee Scott or the Walton family to do the right thing. We are doing something about it ourselves and we hope to make a difference for Mrs. Shank and her family."
To see Jim and Chris Shank's appearance on "The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet" click here.
For more information and to donate to the Shank family, visit: http://action.walmartwatch.com/deborahshank
Contact: Stacie Lock Temple 202.557.7482 or 202.739.1020