Widower sues Wal-Mart, says bag caused death

A tragic series of events in Nebraska began when employees at the retail giant put too many items in 1 plastic sack, a lawsuit says.

By Kim Peterson Aug 29, 2013 3:47PM
Walmart plastic shopping bags in shopping cart
© ParryGrab/AlamyDoes it drive you crazy when store baggers put just one or two items in each plastic bag? Well, there may be a reason they do that.

A Nebraska widower is suing Wal-Mart (WMT) and the company that makes its plastic bags, claiming one bag that couldn't do the job set off a tragic series of events that ultimately led to his wife's death.

The Lincoln Journal Star brings us the story of Lynette Freis, who was shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bellevue, Neb., in 2010. Freis bought two 42-ounce cans of La Choy soy sauce and a 2-pound bag of rice, Lori Pilger reports.

The Wal-Mart cashier put all the items into one plastic bag, which broke as Freis was walking to her car. According to the lawsuit, one can of La Choy fell on Freis' foot, broke her toe and made a deep gash.

That break in the skin led to a serious infection that could not be banished even after two surgeries and many treatments of antibiotics, the lawsuit said, according to The Journal Star. Freis died in March 2011.

Her widower, William Freis, is now suing for about $650,000, saying Wal-Mart didn't properly train its workers to fill bags. He is also suing the maker and distributor of the bags.

A Wal-Mart spokesman told The Journal Star that the company is looking at the allegations and will respond in court. "Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously anytime an injury is reported in one of our stores," the spokesman added.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: WMT
Aug 29, 2013 3:59PM
Why not sue the can manufacturer for making their cans too hard?
Aug 29, 2013 4:05PM
Everything that happens these days is somebody's fault. There are no accidents, there is no fate. When things don't go your way you sue the most convenient target.
Aug 29, 2013 4:30PM

People who sue for stupid reasons should be sued for being stupid.

Aug 29, 2013 4:08PM

1ST thing in the US..after any accident..WHO CAN I SUE?


Aug 29, 2013 4:14PM
Why it couldn't be her fault for not getting immediate medical treatment when she didn't heal after a couple days.
I notice that MSN has omitted a whole lot of important information about the real time frame here!
The case should be thrown out as frivolous at best.
People need to be made accountable for their own mistakes, not make them rich because of them!

Aug 29, 2013 4:20PM
Can anyone say tort reform?  I don't know how anyone can expect to do business in this country.  Take some responsibility for yourselves people.  She should have asked for multiple bags.  Accidents happen, and they can be tragic, but they are still accidents.
Aug 29, 2013 4:17PM
Why is no one surprised that a sleazy lawyer would take advantage of a grieving widower and try to extort deep pockets.
Aug 29, 2013 4:26PM
Oh my God. Really?
So, every time I get a paper cut I should sue the paper mill? Or, every time I get an eyelash in my eye because I removed my contacts I should sue Bausch and Lomb?
So silly.
It sounds as if this person waited too long to seek medical help or had a pre-existing condition to cause such a severe infection.

By the way, cashiers don't know how to bag items and they simply don't care. They get minimum wage for standing around and moving items from a conveyor belt and counting change (if they can even do this correctly.) I always have to bag my own items or re-bag them when they do such a poor job. Management does not care. They just want to get through their shift and get out.

Aug 29, 2013 4:35PM
This is going to sound heartless, but I bet the woman was very much overweight and had diabetes and the wound did not heal because of this.  So the widower should add the diabetes foundation to his list of people to sue.  God help those who are greedy.   

That was 7.25 lbs in one bag.   Would you be able to ask the counterperson, "Is this bag strong enough to handle this?"   Then if they said yes and it broke, you could have a reason to sue.   If you thought, boy is this ever heavy and didn't ask to put them in separate bags, then it could be your own fault.   A person has to has some common sense in today's world.  


If you think it may be too heavy, it probably is.  If you don't care and it breaks; oh well, you should know better.

Aug 29, 2013 4:48PM
He also needs to sue the doctors, the hospital, the manufacturers of everything that was used to treat her wounds and God for creating gravity.
Aug 29, 2013 4:45PM
I really hate people like this.   Frivolous lawsuits by dishonest people and dishonest lawyers.  I hope he loses miserably in court.
Aug 29, 2013 4:17PM
FFS. . .and we wonder why this country has issues.
Aug 29, 2013 4:48PM
The saddest part of all this is that there is a lawyer that has already taken the case and a court that will hear it.  Shame on our judicial system.
Aug 29, 2013 4:42PM
Really?  This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.  If she had an issue with it they would have split up the purchase into the number of bags she wanted. 
Aug 29, 2013 4:44PM
Stub your toe on the concrete and sue the Romans for creating the stuff! Where does it end........
Aug 29, 2013 4:08PM


She must have really liked rice and soy sauce...........

Aug 29, 2013 4:47PM
I'm no fan of Walmart but this law suit is just a disgusting money grab.

Sue the government for allowing Walmart to conduct business in America. Regulators should be sued, as well as the manager for not checking each bag for its strength before the day began.

Aug 29, 2013 4:32PM
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.

Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More