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Wednesday July 8, 2020

updated - July 8, 2020 Wednesday EDT

Wal-Mart Plastic Bag Lawsuit: Nebraska Man Sues Retailer Claiming Broken Plastic Bag Caused Wife's Death

Aug 29, 2013 04:06 PM EDT | By Justin Stock
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Wal-mart, lawsuit, Wife's Death, William Freis, Lynette Freis
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Wal-Mart
A Nebraska man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart for his wife's death.(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

A Nebraska man is suing Wal-Mart and the company who makes its plastic bags.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, William Freis of Plattsmouth alleges an overfilled bag given to his wife, Lynette at a Bellevue, Neb. store broke her right toe and ultimately led to her death when she went grocery shopping April 16, 2010 at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove expressed his condolences to the Fries family, the Journal Star reported.

"Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores," he said.

Hargrove said the company is investigating the allegations and will respond appropriately in court. The cashier reportedly gave Freis one plastic bag to carry two 42 ounce cans of La Choy Asian Cuisine food and a two pound bag of rice.

When Freis was walking to her car, the bag fell apart and one of the cans dropped on her foot, not only breaking her big toe, but gave her a deep cut,  the lawsuit said, according to the Journal Star. Gage Cobb William, Freis' attorney, said the cut led to an infection.

After several rounds of antibiotics and two surgical procedures, Freis' status worsened and the infection reportedly spread throughout her body leading to hospitalizations and her death on March 12, 2011, according to the lawsuit, the Journal Star reported.

Freis initially issued a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, Bunzl Distribution out of Missouri who distributes plastic bags for the company, and manufacturer Hilex Poly Co. of South Carolina in Nebraska's Sarpy County District Court.

According to the Journal Star, the case was sent to United States District Court in Omaha late last week based on the request of Wal-Mart attorney Heidi Guttau-Fox .

The wrongful death suit alleges Wal-Mart was negligent for failing to properly train its employees to prevent them from overfilling grocery bags and knowing when to double bag a customer's groceries, the Journal Star reported. The document also said Wal-Mart supplied Freis with a defective grocery bag.

Over $656,000 in medical expenses is being sought along with an unspecified amount for Freis' pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, the Journal Star reported

Wal-Mart or other defendants have not commented on the suit. 

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