The blogosphere does some good

I often rant (ironically enough) about the blogosphere and what an awful place it can be when it comes to propogating (sometimes harmful) rumors. Usually because everyone copies other blogs (yup, myself included).

But here’s some good news. Wal-Mart: Brain-damaged former employee can keep money If you hadn’t read this story, some poor woman who worked at Wal-Mart and paid for their health & disability plan was in a bad car accident that left her brain damaged. Thanks to her Wal-Mart disability program her health care was being paid for. But the woman and her husband sued the trucking company that hit her, and won $1 million US, of which they got $417,000 (pause for ranting about how much lawyers and the legal system took). Wal-Mart turned around and sued the couple for $470,000 to recoup her healthcare costs. Apparently in the fine print of the Wal-Mart health care policy it says you have to turn over any lawsuit settlement to Wal-Mart.

Anyway you can read the details in the story. The good news is, after CNN ran the story, the blogosphere went wild with vitriol towards Wal-Mart, including calling for boycotts. Yes, everything Wal-Mart did was legal, but it still stank of corporate greed. Faced with this, Wal-Mart did the smart thing and relented, and dropped the lawsuit.

One moral of the story would be to read the fine print on the healthcare package your employee offers, but really, what good does that do? It isn’t like most of us have an alternative. Paying for healthcare out-of-pocket is beyond the means of many of us, and I’m sure particularly so of those who work for Wal-Mart wages.

But the better moral is that the blogosphere has a voice, and it can be used for good. Let’s hope we see more of that, and less petty squabbling and ugly rumor-mongering.