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Man sues Walmart claiming overstuffed bag led to wife’s death

By Mason White 11:43 AM August 30, 2013
Walmart bag illustration 

By: John Roberts
A man in Nebraska, is suing Walmart and their shopping bag supplier, after an overfilled shopping bag allegedly led to the death of his wife.

William Freis, of Plattsmouth, said that the bag, which was given to his wife, Lynette, tore on the way out of Walmart during a shopping trip in April 2010.

The couple was shopping at a Walmart Supercenter in Bellevue, Nebraska, when the cashier handed his wife only one a plastic bag for their purchase of two 42-ounce cans of La Choy and a bag of of rice.
On the way to the car, the shopping bag tore. The lawsuit states that one can of La Choy fell on the woman’s right toe, breaking her toe and causing a deep cut.

Gage Cobb, Freis’ attorney, said the incident resulted in an infection. Despite aggressive antibiotic treatment and two surgical procedures, Lynette Freis’ condition declined.
The infection spread throughout her body, which led to more hospitalizations “and ultimately resulted in her death on March 22, 2011,” according to the lawsuit.

Freis originally filed the lawsuit against Walmart Stores, Inc., the distributor of plastic bags, Bunzl Distribution, and manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co., in the Sarpy County District Court.

But Walmart’s attorney, Heidi Guttau-Fox, pushed to move the case to federal court. The trial was recently moved to U.S. District Court Omaha.
The lawsuit also claims that Walmart was negligent to properly train its employees to prevent overfilling shopping bags, and to know when to double-bag groceries.

Freis also claims that the bag given to his wife was defective.
He is seeking $656,000 in medical expenses, plus additional amounts for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and funeral expenses.