Ethical, Moral, and Legal Article

Maddie Johnson

"Brain damaged women at center of Walmart suit"

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/25/walmart.insurance.battle/


This article is about a 52 year old women, Debbie Shank, who suffers brain damage due to a tragic car-accident. She relied on Walmart for healthcare. She had gave them 470,000 to save for any heath care expenses. Walmart later sued the Shanks for the same amount. The Shanks didn't notice a policy in the fine print (apperiantly they didn't persue) in which caused Walmart to sue them.

Ethics

This is an ethical business issue, because it then makes the customers unhappy. The Shanks attorney claimed she thinks they could have kept the money, but they lost the lawsuit. Walmart states “ We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank's case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and benefit from, the plan.” I think it's easy to say the situation that the Shanks are in is bad, but apparently Walmarts healthcare did not see it as being bad enough.

Moral

In society, I would say most people would take the side of the Shanks, because of the tragic situation they are in. At the same time, the business has to be loyal to their documents and rules. Walmart did what they had to, except most people would argue that the circumstances of the family would show that they need the money.

Legal

The attorney of the Shanks claims she thought they would be able to keep the money. The business ended up suing the family anyways, because they were staying true to the contract. The article doesn't mention whether the businesses decision was legal or not, but i believe that it was the family's fault for not reading the contract carefully. I also believe there should be circumstances or limitations of the amount of money they can take from a family in this situation.
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