A Nebraska man has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart claiming that an overfilled plastic bag ultimately led to his wife's death.
In a suit that was transferred to U.S. District Court in Omaha last week, William Freis of Plattsmouth, Neb., alleges that Wal-Mart and the makers of its plastic bags are to blame for his wife Lynette's death in 2011, according to the Journal Star.
The Freises reportedly went grocery shopping in April 2010 at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bellevue, where a cashier put two 42-ounce cans of La Choy and a 2-pound bag of rice in a single plastic bag.
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Lynette Freis carried the bag out to the parking lot. It broke and one of the La Choy cans fell on her right foot, breaking her big toe and leaving a deep cut, according to the suit.
Freis then developed an infection in the wound, which spread throughout her body despite multiple rounds of antibiotics and two surgeries. She was hospitalized and family lawyer Gage Cobb claims the plastic bag "ultimately resulted in her death on March 12, 2011," reports the Journal Star.
William Freis accused Wal-Mart of negligence for overfilling its bags and failing to train its cashiers on knowing when to double bag a customer's groceries. He also claims the plastic bag provided to him and his wife was defective.
The wrongful death lawsuit names Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; the distributor of its plastic bags, Missouri-based Bunzl Distribution; and the manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co. of South Carolina, as defendants. Freis is seeking more than $656,000 in medical expenses and funeral and burial costs, plus an unspecified amount for his wife's pain and suffering.
Wal-Mart declined to comment specifically on the case, but issued a statement Tuesday saying, "Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores."
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