A Nebraska family has sued Walmart Stores Inc. for wrongful death, saying Lynette Freis died last year after an overloaded plastic bag broke, cutting her skin and leading to infections that killed her.
The woman’s estate sued Arkansas-based Walmart, as well as the manufacturer and the distributor of the plastic shopping bag, in Sarpy County District Court in July. This month, it was moved to U.S. District Court in Omaha.
The suit says that in April 2010 Freis left the Bellevue Walmart with two 42-ounce cans of food and a two-pound bag of rice that a store clerk packaged into a single plastic shopping bag.
On the way to the car, the suit says, the bag broke. A can cut Freis on the right big toe, which it fractured, according to the lawsuit.
The cut, the suit says, left Freis with infections, surgeries and hospitalizations. The suit says Freis died in 2011.
“Despite multiple rounds of antibiotics and two surgical procedures ... Mrs. Freis’ condition continued to decline with additional infections ... which resulted in subsequent hospitalizations, and ultimately resulted in her death,” the suit says.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company extends its condolences to the Freis family.
“Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores,” Hargrove said. “Walmart is thoroughly investigating the plaintiff’s allegations.”
An Omaha lawyer for the Freis estate, Gage Cobb, declined to comment on the suit.
The suit cites $657,000 in medical expenses and asks for other unspecified damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, loss of life and funeral costs.