Sometimes it takes a hammer to make someone do the right thing, and unfortunately, if you ask me, that’s the wrong reason.

In this case, I’m talking about Walmart and its reversal of what was initially a bad decision in trying to take back money it paid for a woman’s health care. The quick detail is that a woman named Debbie Shank was injured in a car accident some years ago when a truck plowed into her car. She worked at Walmart stocking shelves, but had their health plan. Her injuries were so severe that she was permanently brain damaged, had no short term memory, and is now in a nursing home. Even after a lawsuit and settlement, her husband had to divorce her so she would qualify for long term health care benefits from her state. After the lawsuit, in which they were awarded $1 million, and after the lawyers take, the family was left with $417,000. Anyone who knows anything about health care costs can calculate that amount would have only covered a few years at best. Oh yeah, as a sidebar, her son was killed in Iraq, and she can’t even remember that.

Welmart has a policy which has, in fine print no less, a rider that says if anyone receives money from a lawsuit, Walmart has the right to take back all monies they’ve paid towards that person’s care. In essence, they went after this family for $470,000, which this family didn’t have. It went to court, and it was ruled that the family had to pay back around $285,000, which they still didn’t have. The husband was desperate, and the story ended up on CNN.

That’s when it got ugly for Walmart . This is a company that likes to tout itself as America’s company, employee and home friendly, and those who heard the story didn’t take kindly to it. I even told my wife a couple of days ago that I couldn’t see myself going back to Walmart if this was how they were going to treat people. I understand rules and regulations, but I hate sneakiness and I hate bullies. I also don’t like rules that have no room for individual review; if ever there was a case that needed one, this was it.

In the end, earlier today Walmart announced that they would not be pushing this family any longer in trying to collect the money. They apologized to the family and pledged to see what else they could do to help. They finally did the right thing, but for the wrong reason. They’re trying to protect their reputation; just how much did they care about this while they were dragging the family through court, making them spend money they didn’t have?

Still, the husband can now relax, take comfort, and go back to worrying only about his wife (I know, former wife, but that’s only a technicality). The powers that be at Walmart have finally done the right thing. And Walmart can hope that this story just goes away.