Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Big-Hearted Corporate Policy We Can All Look Forward To

Say you're injured in a crash that is not your fault. Luckily, you have health insurance provided in part through your employer, and although you're permanently injured you're fortunate enough to receive a settlement from the other driver's insurance company that will pay for your longterm care.

Unfortunately for you, your employer's deal with the health insurance provider allows them to sue you to recover the cost of your medical care after the insurance, and the so called "conservative" federal judges, who are just as pro-corporation as the rest of the Republicans, have backed them up with rulings allowing them to do so.

Think it couldn't happen to you? Well, it happened to this woman, courtesy of everyone's favorite mega-discounter.
A collision with a tractor-trailer seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons found a small source of solace: a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved.

After legal fees and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust. It was to be used for Deborah Shank's care.

Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Deborah's former employer, Wal-Mart Stores.

Two years ago, the retail giant's health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart's favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, Deborah's family has to rely on Medicaid and her Social Security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.

To add a little salt to your wounds, you'll also be responsible for all legal fees incurred getting the settlement.

It's a wonderful world. Remember, this is also the country where Bush's Supreme Court ruled cities can seize your property for the sole purpose of turning it over to some corporations.

1 comment:

Dr Pezz said...

This has to be one of the most ludicrous rulings I have ever heard. I guess we know those involved are not the compassionate conservatives I hear so much about.