Nebraska resident William Freis is still searching for answers surrounding the death of his wife Lynette in March 2011. Freis is currently engaged in a lawsuit with Wal-Mart and Hilex Poly Co. over an improperly filled shopping bag that he said “ultimately resulted in her death.”
On April 16, 2010, Lynette Freis left a Wal-Mart in Omaha with a single shopping bag filled with two 42-oz. cans of La Choy and a 2-lb. bag of rice in her possession. At some point during the walk to her car, the bag ripped and one of the cans landed directly on her big toe, leaving a laceration and fracture.
Lynette eventually developed an infection in her right foot, which then made its way through her entire body. Hospitalization, multiple rounds of antibiotics, and two surgical procedures did nothing to stop the infection, resulting in Lynette’s death on March 12, 2011.
William is now seeking $657,000 in medical and funeral expenses, in addition to an undisclosed amount for emotional damage cause by the loss of his wife. According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart is being sued for failing to train its employees on filling bags properly, and Hilex, the company that produces the shopping bags, for manufacturing a faulty product.
“Customer safety is a top priority, and we take it seriously any time an injury is reported in one of our stores," Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in a statement to KMBC. “Walmart is thoroughly investigating the plaintiff’s allegations.” Hargrove also took time to extend condolences to the Freis family.
The lawsuit was originally filed under the Sarpy County District Court, but was recently moved to the U.S. District Court in Omaha earlier this month. Gage Cobb, Freis’ attorney, refused to comment on the matter.