WSJ Treats Deborah Shank & Wal-Mart
The Wall Street Journal has an article today on Deborah Shank and Wal-Mart's subrogaton reach. You can find it here.
I spoke and exchanged e-mails on several occasions with Vanessa Fuhrmans, the author of the article, about the Shanks. Vanessa accurately identifies and discusses the facts and legal principles involved. I discussed the Shank case when it was initially decided by the Eighth Circuit here and here.
One fact I was not aware of before reading the WSJ article was that Deborah's husband recovered $300,000 from the tortfeasor as damages for his loss associated with Deborah's injuries. The article suggests that Wal-Mart did not attempt to pursue that recovery. Perhaps, in Wal-Mart's mind, not asserting a claim to Jim Shank's $300,000 was evidence of its corporate generosity. Whether the language of the plan document would allow such a claim is debatable.