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Letter to the Editor: Wal-Mart was right on Shank case

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To the editor:

I feel for the Shank family's tragedy. It would be subhuman to not get emotional over what happened. However, they had no ethical or legal claim to the money Wal-Mart is letting them keep. Wal-Mart's policy is clear-cut and similar to nearly every other insurance policy in the country. The trucking company didn't commit the tort but was ruled responsible, not Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart merely fronted the bill. Not only did Wal-Mart lose interest, now it has given in and given up the entire amount. Because of the Shank family's actions, the policy rates for other employees of Wal-Mart will go up to recoup the amount.

Wal-Mart is in the right, and I'm embarrassed the people of Southeast Missouri would go to such great lengths to retain money that isn't theirs on the false premise that corporations are evil and it won't hurt them. We all know this isn't true. Corporations are owned by us, the people. We invest in them, we do business with them, and we work for them.

Now an even more ridiculous action is being called for. People are suggesting Wal-Mart cover the Shanks' legal bills. If that happens, what kind of precedent would be set? The Shanks were on the wrong side, both ethically and legally. In all reality, the Shanks should donate that money back to the employee health care plan where it belongs.

TYLER W. PHELPS, Advance, Mo.