I should explain there is no appropriate category and sub-topic provided in which to categorize this report. It concerns an injury sustained while shopping at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Store No. 1543, Albuquerque, NM, the store's handling of it, and treatment given to me by the store's claim agent, Sean D. Goss, of Sedgwick CMS, Inc. aka Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. aka SRS , SRS Specialty Risk Services, Inc.
On August 15, 2011, at or about 9:40 a.m. while shopping at the store, my shirt-sleeve, which was rolled up over my elbow, became snagged on a heavy metal rack which had been placed very close to the edge of a cluttered desk in the kitchen appliance section of the store. The rack came down on my left foot, causing a gash on the big toe by the nail and contusions. [continued below]....
..... The person who took "the report", John Driscoll, Asst. Mgr., displayed all the courtesy and tact of a police officer stopping a motorist for a traffic infraction. My license was demanded. A series of questions followed, to include whether my address was current or not, etc. I was refused a copy of the report citing store policy. After I asked for some sort of documentation of what had happened, I was provided with a piece of copy paper on which a few facts were scribbled by hand in block letters. I was told to take that to "any health care provider" and they would render medical treatment. At no time was I asked if I was OK to drive, whether my foot was broken, was I experiencing pain, etc. A good-hearted cashier named Karen came over and offered, of her own initiative, some bandaids and antibacterial ointment. I was not provided a private place in which to give myself first-aid and was forced to do it in sight of many store employees and store customers.
I was laughed out of the first few health-care providers I presented the piece of copy paper to, both demanding that I pay for the care out of my own pocket and then attempt to collect from Lowe's. It took me roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes, during one of the hottest days of the year to finally find a hospital which was willing to provide emergency medical treatment and bill Lowe's. This was some 8 miles away one way. I also had to walk 2 blocks each way to the Emergency Room due to the full to capacity condition of the hospital's parking lots. I spent a total of 5 1/2 hours in the hospital's emergency room getting X-rayed, tetanus shot, inspected, detected, and disinfected, given a coat of Dermabond Skin Adhesive, provided with a post-surgical shoe, and given a Rx for Vicodin and Motrin 800 mg. Lowe's was billed for the $1,800+ in costs, but the Rx medications I was left to pay for out of my own pocket.
I felt so strongly about being badly treated by Lowe's after being a customer for about 8 1/2 years and spending THOUSANDS of dollars at that store, that I contacted Robert Niblock, CEO and Chairman at Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. in Wilkesboro, NC. This I did by fax. I sent him a 3-page narrative of what had transpired. One week after the accident, I received a short letter from a Sean D. Goss, Claims Representative for SRS Specialty Risk Services, also known as Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. He had misspelled the street name on which I live on, which delayed the letter. He asked me to contact him and provided me with fax number at Lexington, KY. At this point, I will tell you the company has an office in Albuquerque, with a fax number at which I could have faxed the info free of charge to me. Instead, the company chose the long-distance number and I have spent in excess of $27.00 in fax fees to date. I faxed Mr. Goss a 3-page narrative of what had transpired. A week later, Goss wrote again, and again misspelled the street name on which I live, which delayed the letter again. This time he treatened to close the claim if he did not hear from me within 15 days. He did not specify from what date. I faxed Robert Niblock and Sean D. Goss again, complaining about Goss's attitude and the fact he was not acknowledging the receipt of the faxes. The next day I heard from Mr. Niblock's office through his administrative assistant who allegedly took down the same information I had faxed twice before. I also faxed the Albuquerque office and provided them with all the info I had sent Niblock and Goss to date.
A week later, I received another short letter from Sean D. Goss. This time, they not only misspelled the name of the street I live on, but the name of the city as well, again delaying the mail and letting me know they had taken note of my complaint about misspelling the street name causing delays, and letting me know they didn't have to care. Goss wrote that Lowe's "was truly sorry for your loss" but that Lowe's "does not have med pay insurance"; that they felt they were not at fault or negligent, and so they weren't paying. I don't know if that includes reneging on paying for my medical expenses due to the accident or not. I was pretty much floored.
Robert Niblock is a man who laid off some 1,700 Lowe's employees not too long ago and then gave himself an 11% pay raise. His company claims to reach out to the disabled, but when it came to making things right with this report writer, an honorably-discharged, US Army Disabled Veteran with service-connected disabilities, both Lowe's Companies, aka Lowe's Home Centers, Inc., aka Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouses, Inc. and SRS, aka SRS Specialty Risk Services aka Sedgwick CMS, Inc. aka Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. basically told this disabled veteran to p__ss off, implying what happened to him (me) was my own fault and that they were not going to pay one cent to make right for the pain, suffering, inconvenience and 5 1/2 hour ordeal at the emergency room. I say to people with disabilities, especially disabled veterans, to pregnant women, to the elderly and seniors, and parents of children who shop with them DO NOT SHOP AT LOWE'S! If you are injured the company could care less and will play games with you, ask you to spend money, and not lose a minute's worry over it. Lowe's is No. 2 in the Home Improvement business. If you are injured in one of their stores, they will No. 2 all over you. Go somewhere else where they have proper insurance and they give a d**n about their customers! Disabled American Veterans Life Member No. 30003L008038 since 1985. Sign me "DisVet".