We've all heard of the Butterfly Effect -- where something small or insignificant changes the course of events and over time is responsible for something catastrophic to happen. Well now multiply that to the millionth degree and file a wrongful death suit. You might just make a ton of money, or become the laughing stock of the world.
Ever go shopping and while carrying in the groceries the cheap plastic bag broke and your purchases fell to the ground? Aside for grumbling about the need for double bagging, you retrieved your items, grumbled a bit more as you picked them up.
Recently things got a little out of hand. Take the case of Nebraska resident William Freis. He suffered a tragic loss of his wife, Lynette. Via Gawker in an article titled, "Husband Says Defective Shopping Bag Caused Wife's Death."
In a wrongful death suit filed in February by Lynette's husband William, three defendants are blamed for setting in motion the chain of events that led to the Plattsmouth native's death: Wal-Mart Stores, for failing to train its employees in the art of double-bagging; Hilex Poly Co., for manufacturing a "defective" plastic bag; and Bunzi Distribution, for distributing a "defective" plastic bag.
In addition to $657,000 for medical and funeral expenses, William is also seeking an unspecified amount on behalf of his wife for her pain and suffering as well as the "loss of consortium."
That's the butterfly effect taking over your mind as it did with William Freis. Here's a bit more detail.
The Nebraska woman was being rung up at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bellevue on April 16th, 2010, when the cashier decided to place the two 42-ounce La Choy cans she purchased as well as a two-pound bag of rice in a single plastic bag.
While walking back to her car, Lynette's bag failed, causing one of the La Choy cans to fall on her right foot, resulting in a deep cut and the fracturing of her big toe.
She soon developed an infection that neither antibiotics nor two surgical procedures were able to cure, and ultimately passed away on March 12th, 2011.
Death is never funny. Well, once it was -- "Chuckles Bites The Dust" episode of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. But this is real life or death and certainly the state of Nebraska is taking this all seriously:
The case was transferred this week to the U.S. District Court in Omaha at Walmart's request.
This woman's death is tragic, but has nothing to do with Wal-Mart, training in double bagging, or the plastic bag companies involved. That fact that this case has even come to court is ridiculous. Why are we wasting our time on frivolous law suits?
This calamity is worthy of our do-nothing congress, but not of local jurisprudence.