Bag failure leads to wrongful-death lawsuit

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 29, 2013 3:53 pm ET
Updated: August 29, 2013 4:03 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Film & Sheet, Legal, Grocery bags
Companies & Associations Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Alleged failure of a plastic bag is at the center of a wrongful-death lawsuit against America's largest plastic bag maker and the country's largest retailer.

The lawsuit, which has been moved to U.S. District Court in Omaha, alleges a plastic bag made by Hilex Poly Co. LLC failed when carrying more than 100 ounces of product at a Wal-Mart store in Bellevue, Neb.

The bag, which contained two cans of La Choy Asian food each weighing 42 ounces and a bag of rice weighing 32 ounces, allegedly broke April 16, 2010, while Lynette M. Freis was transporting the merchandise to her car.

One of the cans fell on her right foot, fracturing the big toe and causing what the lawsuit calls a "deep laceration" on the toe. Freis then subsequently suffered from an infection, underwent surgical procedures to treat the injuries and infection to the toe, the lawsuit alleges.

The infection spread through her body "despite multiple rounds of antibiotics" and her condition continued to worsen. This "resulted in subsequent hospitalizations, and ultimately resulted in her death on March 12, 2011," the lawsuit alleges.

Hilex Poly, based in Hartsville, S.C., is named as a defendant in the case along with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Bunzl Distribution of St. Louis. Bunzl distributes plastic grocery bags in Wal-Mart stores, the lawsuit claims.

Gage R. Cobb, a lawyer representing plaintiff William S. Freis, husband of Lynette Freis, indicated via email he had no comment beyond the allegations in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks $656,716 to cover medical expenses as well as unspecified damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and funeral and burial expenses.

A Walmart spokesman said in a statement: "We extend our condolences to Ms. Freis' family for their loss. Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores. Walmart is thoroughly investigating the plaintiff's allegations, and we will respond appropriately with the court."


Comments

Bag failure leads to wrongful-death lawsuit

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 29, 2013 3:53 pm ET
Updated: August 29, 2013 4:03 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Bankruptcy court confirms GSE reorganization plan

July 29, 2014 4:01 pm ET

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has confirmed the reorganization plan for geomembranes maker GSE Environmental Inc.    More

Image

Sealed Air's move to Charlotte will put it all under 'One Roof'

July 25, 2014 2:03 pm ET

Sealed Air Corp. shook the ground last week by announcing plans to relocate its headquarters from Elmwood Park, N.J., to Charlotte, N.C., in a move...    More

Image

Bemis' product strategy paying off with record earnings per share

July 24, 2014 2:56 pm ET

Bemis Co. Inc. is feeling good about itself these days as the flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials firm is posting record earnings per ...    More

Image

Sealed Air moving headquarters, 1,200 jobs to Charlotte, N.C.

July 23, 2014 2:06 pm ET

Sealed Air Corp. — which is known for its Bubble Wrap brand — is moving its headquarters from Elmwood Park, N.J., to Charlotte, N.C., and ...    More

Image

Beer maker Carlsberg enlists suppliers for 'upcycling' project

July 22, 2014 11:14 am ET

Carlsberg Breweries A/S in Denmark has started an ambitious project with its suppliers to optimize its packaging for the purpose of “upcycling.&...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events