When Linda Gaub’s 51-year-old husband died of a heart attack in 1994 she said his employer, Walmart, couldn’t have been more supportive.
They took up a collection. They brought Christmas presents for the couple’s three young children. They donated plants for a garden at Liberty Park Elementary School, a project that had been her husband’s passion — a way of using his skills as a farmer to help out one of his kid’s school.
Then, last year, the Lake Worth woman got a letter, alerting her that Walmart benefited richly from her husband’s death. Like hundreds of thousands of its other employees, the Arkansas-based discount giant had secretly taken out a life insurance policy on her husband when he worked as a department head in the garden center of its store on Forest Hill Boulevard, her attorneys said. Ronald Gaub’s death, they said, put between $75,000 and $150,000 in its pockets.
“I was floored,” she said of the news. “Myself and my children were extremely upset that they had profited from his death. It’s deplorable.”
As if that wasn’t enough, she learned she couldn’t share in the $2 million the company last year agreed to pay to settle claims filed by other Florida residents who were equally shocked to learn that the death of loved ones had lined Walmart’s pockets.