Woman with disabilities seeking new van after she says Walmart employees totaled it
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A woman with disabilities from Poplar Bluff, Missouri has been without her specialty-equipped van for more than a month.
All because of a wreck that happened with a complete stranger behind the wheel.
Karen McGinnis took her car to the Walmart supercenter in Poplar Bluff for routine maintenance on June 5.
"It's the way I get around. It's basically my legs," McGinnis said.
McGinnis has been in a wheelchair most of her life, so she's used to sitting in one place.
However, Poplar Bluff Police say a Walmart employee crashed her car, so she's been in the house quite a while.
"Today marks 45 days. Four walls or however many walls you want to call it gets closed in," McGinnis said.
She took her car to the supercenter for an oil change and new tires.
McGinnis said usually companies let her drive the car in herself.
"They said 'no.' for safety's sake they didn't want me to drive it in," McGinnis said.
The Poplar Bluff police report shows the employee drove the car using a bucket as a seat.
When he drove over a lip it caused the driver to hit the accelerator, causing the van to crash.
"They told me it was a total loss," McGinnis said.
She had two appraisals done, both showing body work alone was more than $8,000.
"They realized there was more damage than what it's worth. Plus, they didn't know how much the handicap equipment costs," McGinnis said.
Since then she's been communicating with Walmart.
McGinnis said they haven't made a formal offer, but started with $6,500 and went up to $16,000.
"Vans run anywhere from sixty on up," McGinnis said.
McGinnis said all their discussions about an offer were on the phone, so she doesn't have those numbers on paper.
"I'm not expecting special treatment. I took a van in that I could drive and get around in. That's all I'm asking for – is a van that will work for me," McGinnis said.
Walmart commented about McGinnis' van.
They said they are currently speaking to the store and their claims company to better understand the issue, and will contact us when they know more.
Walmart released this statement on Wednesday, July 20:
"What happened to Mrs. McGinnis' van at our store was an unfortunate accident, and we're sympathetic to her frustration, as this process requires time to work out.
"We're working diligently with Mrs. McGinnis toward a fair resolution and will continue doing so until things are taken care of."
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