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Articles Tagged with Walmart

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Untitled-design-3-300x169An interesting article discusses the quiet lobbying effort to gut workers’ compensation laws bankrolled by Walmart and several other large retailers. According to the article, these companies have supported and funded a behind the scenes lobbying effort to dramatically change workers’ compensation laws in many states. My state, Alabama, is on the group’s target list.

The changes come quietly. In state legislatures, the group’s lobbyists work to promote legislation which limits or diminishes basic benefits to injured workers. One of the major efforts of this business group is to create an opt-out system for workers’ compensation. How would such a system work? Workers’ compensation benefits in Alabama are already extremely limited. Yet, although limited, the system does mandate certain basic medical and disability benefits for workers.

Under an opt-out system, a business could choose to opt-out of the workers’ compensation system and write its own benefit plan. The employer could be allowed to write its own rules governing benefits. If this ever became a reality in Alabama (and it already has in a couple states), here’s what injured workers and their families could possibly see and suffer —

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Blackwell Law Firm -- Alabama Truck Accident LawyersIn June, a Walmart driver slammed his truck into the back of a limousine carrying comedians Tracy Morgan and James McNair. Morgan suffered severe personal injury. The collision killed McNair.

The crash generated much media discussion about highway safety and, particularly, the safety of large commercial trucks on our roads. Morgan sued Walmart as a result of the truck driver’s negligence. In his suit, Morgan contends the truck driver had not slept in 24 hours prior to the accident. Fatigued truck drivers pushed to make quick deliveries are real and far too common dangers on our highways.

I have represented individuals in cases against Walmart in the past. I always expect Walmart to fight as hard as possible to avoid accountability or liability. Walmart even takes a hard line when its own employees are hurt on the job! Ask a seriously injured Walmart worker if the company provided workers’ compensation benefits without a fight! Maybe the public spotlight and scrutiny will make Morgan’s case different? Maybe Walmart will treat Morgan better than others in an effort to avoid bad publicity? Maybe? I don’t know what course the retailer will take in his case. It looks like Walmart began defending the claims as it does most others. That’s a shame.

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Blackwell Law Firm Helps Car And Truck Crash VictimsAn article from a personal injury firm in our nation’s capitol starts by saying “Tracy Morgan Shocked By Walmart’s Accusations.” The article was an interesting read. The crash that injured Tracy Morgan generated months of media headlines. If you’ve avoided all news for the last few months – A Walmart truck driver crashed his truck into the limousine carrying Tracy Morgan. Morgan suffered severe injuries. Another passenger, comedian James McNair, died in the collision.

Morgan later sued Walmart claiming its truck driver had not slept in 24 hours before the accident. Did Walmart take responsibility for the collision which caused so much injury and damage? No. Walmart refused to take responsibility. Instead, Walmart played the blame game. Walmart answered the lawsuit by blaming Tracy Morgan for his own injuries. I have represented clients in the past with claims against Walmart. I’m not surprised Walmart tried to blame an innocent victim. In a prior work comp case of mine, Walmart initially claimed the accident never happened even though it possessed video of the event! Sadly, Walmart’s actions are not unusual. Too many defendants attempt to blame the victim instead of accepting their responsibility.

How do corporate defendants attempt to shift the blame? At first, the defendant ignores its own recklessness (like putting a truck driver on the road for 24 hours without rest) and falsely asserts the other driver must have contributed to the crash. When that effort fails, many defendants then attempt to shift blame for the actual pain and injuries. They begin to claim falsely that the victim exaggerated their injuries, lied about their condition, or refused rehabilitation.

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