FINANCE

Wal-Mart Drops Reimbursement Claim

BY CSA STAFF

New York Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is dropping its efforts to collect more than $400,000 in health-care reimbursement from a former employee who is confined to a southeast Missouri nursing home since she suffered brain damage in a traffic accident, according to an AP report.

In a letter to the family of Deborah Shank, the company said it will not seek to collect money the Shanks won in an injury lawsuit against a trucking company for the accident. Pat Curran, executive VP for human resources at Wal-Mart Stores U.S., wrote that Shank’s extraordinary situation had made the company re-examine its stance.

Wal-Mart had come under heavy criticism in newspaper editorials and by its union foes for its claim to the funds, which it made in a lawsuit that was upheld by a federal appeals court.

Insurance experts say it has become increasingly common for health plans to seek reimbursement for the medical expenses they paid for someone’s treatment if the person also collects damages in an injury suit. The practice is called “subrogation.” A 2006 Supreme Court ruling has made it easier for companies to seek reimbursement in such cases.

Shank, 52, received her health insurance through Wal-Mart, where she worked nights. She lost much of her memory and ability to communicate or walk in a crash between her minivan and a tractor trailer in May 2000. Her family sued the trucking company and won $700,000. Court records show that after attorney’s fees and costs, the remaining $417,477 from the settlement went into a trust to care for Shank. The fund now has about $270,000, according to the family.

After the Shanks won their lawsuit, Wal-Mart sued the Shank family to recover medical costs totaling about $470,000.

Wal-Mart won its case and subsequent appeals by the Shanks that went as far as the Supreme Court, which closed legal avenues this month by declining to hear the case.

During the case, one of the Shanks’ three sons was killed in Iraq while serving in the Army.

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Syntax names interim cfo

BY CSA STAFF

TEMPE, Ariz. Syntax-Brillian, a leading manufacturer and marketer of LCD HDTVs, digital cameras, and consumer electronics products, has announced that Bradley Lines has been appointed to the position of interim cfo effective March 24. Lines has been serving as the firm’s senior vp of finance and corporate treasurer. He will replace Jack Hodgson, who has resigned as evp, cfo and director to pursue other opportunities.

Mr. Lines joined Syntax-Brillian in May 2007 and becoming senior vp of finance and corporate treasurer in November 2007. He will report directly to James Li, president and ceo, and will direct and oversee Syntax-Brillians worldwide financial management and accounting activities.

“Brads deep understanding of Syntax-Brillian and his global perspective make him the perfect choice for cfo and a major asset for all Syntax shareholders, said Li. We thank Jack for his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

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Curren to head ACCO’s Day-Timer business

BY CSA STAFF

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. ACCO Brands has named Martha Curren vp and general manager of its Day-Timer brand business for the U.S., Canadian and international marketplace.

Curren served as president of Goebel of North America from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that she served as president of Lenox Collections since 1998.

“I am very pleased to be leading a team of caring and knowledgeable professionals at Day-Timers. I look forward to developing a collaborative environment that will build upon the traditional level of quality and service our customers expect while we move forward with creating innovative new products to appeal to ever changing customer needs. Continuing to build value added relationships with current consumers and trade customers is a high priority,” said Curren.

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