After Deborah Shank was left brain-damaged and in a wheelchair because of a collision with a semi truck, her family won a $700,000 settlement from the trucking company, reduced to about $400,000 after legal fees. Then Wal-Mart found out about it.
Shank, a former Wal-Mart employee, was sued by the company for $470,000 to reimburse its insurance company for Shank's medical bills. Now in a nursing home, Shank relies on Medicare and Social Security to pay for around-the-clock care.
Her husband, Jim, who works two jobs, said, "I don't understand why they need to do this. This girl needs the money more than they do." But Wal-Mart reserves the right to recoup medical expenses from money won by employees in lawsuits.