Jeff Jarvis tells the amazing story of Wal-Mart’s latest evil behaviour. Apparently an employee was hit by a truck and brain damaged. She will require care for the rest of her life. Her family sued the trucking company and won a $1 million settlement, of which they only received $417,000 after legals (the legal profession is another group that doesn’t exactly follow Google’s credo). After paying other initial expenses, that left $275,000 in a trust fund for the ongoing care she’ll need the rest of her life. Along comes employer Wal-Mart which has a clause in employee’s health insurance allowing them to sue the employees to recover expenses. They want to take that remaining $275K the family needs for ongoing care. In fact, they wanted to take the entire $470K that was paid in medical fees, which the family had no way of paying. Fortunately, a judge ruled they could only go after the $275K trust fund.
The whole think doesn’t even make remotely good business sense given the PR impact it’s having, the cost of their own lawyers, and the sums of money involved. Not only are they evil in this case, but they’re just plain stupid. CEO H. Lee Scott should be cleaning house on this kind of rotten corporate culture. The whole company would do much better if he would.