Man Sues Walmart After Being Bitten By Snake, But Keeps Going Back For The Deals

Ah, the irresistable pull of bargains! A man in Florida is suing Walmart because he was bitten by a pygmy rattler while shopping in the garden center in 2008. His is the third such attack in a Walmart in Florida since 2006, and he’s claiming the retailer should have taken better steps to prevent rattler bites after the first two attacks. Our favorite detail, though, is that he won’t stop going to Walmart, because “their prices are too good to shop elsewhere.”

Florida Conservation writes that the pygmy rattlesnake is common throughout all of Florida, and that its rattle “is small and slender and produces a sound like the buzzing of an insect.” The rattle is fairly quiet, too, and can only be heard from a few feet away. Also of note, although Florida Conservation overlooks this, is that the pygmy rattler loves bargains. What this all means is that if you ever hear an insect sound in a Walmart, you should overturn your cart (for a distraction) and run screaming.

Oh, and yes it’s venomous and feisty, but “its bite produces pain and swelling which usually subsides in a few days,” and no deaths have been recorded—which is actually more than we can say for attacks by humans at a Walmart.

“Florida Man Sues Wal-Mart Over In-Store Snake Attack” [Fox News]
(Photos: Clean Wal-Mart, zieak, crd!, kawanet)


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  1. floraposte says:

    Somebody finally finds something American-made in a Wal-Mart, and all he can do is bitch.

    • f1rst 1 says:

      @floraposte: brilliant

    • Shadowfire says:

      @floraposte: Great first post, or greatest first post?

      On topic – the garden center is outside. I mean, is there a way Wal-mart really could prevent this? As I recall, pygmy rattlers in Florida are extremely common…

      • Tito151 says:

        @Shadowfire: They could set up falcon nests in the garden section to eat the snakes…

        • scoosdad says:

          @Tito151: New headline:

          “Man Sues Walmart After Being Mistaken by Falcon for a Snake and Bitten, But Keeps Going Back For The Deals”

          Cleanup in the garden department, aisle three…

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @Shadowfire: MTE

        I don’t think one can hold Wal-mart responsible for the fact that there are animals outdoors. Not even a fence would keep snakes out.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Rectilinear Propagation: i don’t think i’ve ever been in the inside aisles NEAR the doors that lead to the garden center in a walmart and not seen at least small birds flying around. snakes are even more sneaky. they might well be fishing in the pet section after close [should your walmart happen to close]

      • Sasselhoff says:

        @Shadowfire: Common? Can you say “like mosquitos”? Aside from making the garden center completely inside, they really can’t completely protect from this.

    • Boulderite says:



      At least when I used to shop at the Walmart here, I only saw the occasional bird and rabbit in the garden center. And we have the big, life threating rattle snakes here.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Boulderite: if you have rabbits in the garden center… the snakes will follow.

      • Butte-Monkey says:

        @Boulderite: In Florida, we got both kinds. The Eastern Diamondback is very common and is the largest rattlesnake in the world. It’s also the most dangerous rattler in N. America, due in no small part to the large amount of venom it can deliver. Not only is it large, its fangs are larger – in proportion to its body – than any other rattlesnake species.

        In short, Floridians have to fear both the smallest and largest rattlesnakes known to man.

        I’d wager that either one would kick the crap out of whatever hippy-dippy rattlers you have in Boulder.

  2. Amanda Ramirez says:

    Forida Conservation???… Someone needs to use spell check

    • acarr260 says:

      @Amanda Ramirez: I bet you’re a ton of fun at parties!

      Oh.. what’s that? Nobody invites you any parties?

      Hmmm… I guess I can see why.

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        @acarr260: Facebook commentors will be the death of us all.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          @TinkishDelight: I think the problem is that new commentors are presented with a commenting FAQ but not the Comment Code.

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            @Rectilinear Propagation: You shouldn’t need a set of rules detailing how to not be a complete ass.

            • Sean Gamble says:

              @TinkishDelight: Okay… This Amanda Ramirez chick is kind of a Bitch we get it… Now keep in mind not all facebook comenters are like Ms.Ramirez

              So lets get back on topic, shall we?

              @scoosdad: lol… in a recent press release Wal*mart has stated that they will construct active Paragrine Falcon nests in all garden centers throughout the state of florida to protect coustomers from snakes. and in an effort to crackdown on attacks made on coustomes by paragrine falcons they will install cat carriers throughout the stores to kill and eat any disorderly and or ornery Falcons.

        • Alexander Saites says:

          @tande04: Exactly what I was thinking.

          @TinkishDelight: This shows up all the time; you just want an excuse to get angry at a Facebook commenter. How does it make any difference if they’re from Facebook or if they signed up on the site? If you had a list of comments from several users without knowing what type they were, you would have no way of picking out Facebook commenters from other ones. Get over Facebook commenters, and get over yourself.

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            @Alexander Saites: I apologize for making such a broad statement. No, it does not apply to every single one of you (just 95%). Also why would I be looking for an excuse exactly? I have a Facebook account. But as someone that’s been reading the Gawker network for years now, yes there IS a huge difference. And yes, 9 times out of 10 you can tell if the user is a Facebooker. Just like you can tell if the site was linked to some justjared-esque place. All of a sudden there’s an influx of idiots.

            Also- I’m certainly not the only commenter that feels this way. Look around.

          • Traveshamockery says:

            @Alexander Saites: Non-Facebookers have to be approved to post. Facebook is a wide-open superhighway of mouth-breathers (not specifically talking about you) who otherwise wouldn’t make it past the “velvet rope”, so to speak.

    • DTV-Compliant_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @amandaramirez: Spelling errors should be brought to the attention of the author by using the easily found links on the left side of the page, and NOT in the comments. To quote Randal Graves:

      Randal: And, I hope it feels good.
      Video Store Customer: You hope what feels good?
      Randal: I hope it feels so good to be right. There’s nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?

    • Tito151 says:

      @amandaramirez: Yea, quit being such a Grammar Nazi. It’s nice to let the author know he/she made a spelling error, but not to deride him for his/her error.

  3. jklug80 says:

    We’re rolling back our prices on rattler repellant!

  4. Davan says:

    Walmart should threaten to not let him shop there anymore unless he drops his suit – he sounds like the kind of guy that would get a little panicky at having to choose

  5. redskull says:

    I’ve been telling everyone that shopping at Walmart will eventually bite you in the ass!

  6. DTV-Compliant_GitEmSteveDave says:

    In a recent press release, Wal*Mart announced the hiring of Saint Patrick look-a-likes to prevent further “unintentional customer serpentes interactions”. When asked if they knew the story of the snakes being driven out of Ireland was apocryphal, Wal*Mart was quoted as saying,

    “It will make people feel better, and if it happens again, we can say they ‘didn’t believe enough’. We’ll just send them the boilerplate Snake Letter, and that oughta hold those S.O.B.’s. Wait, you didn’t record that last part did you? Crap!”

    • attackgypsy says:

      @DTVTransitioned_GitEmSteveDave: Just FYI: Saint Patrick didn’t drive the snakes out of Ireland. There were no snakes in Ireland. He drove the Druids out, who used a snake as a symbol.

      Nice how revisionist history corrupts the truth, isn’t it?

      • Buckaroo_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @attackgypsy: Thus the line about the story being apocryphal.

        apocryphal: false; spurious,Of doubtful authenticity; Of dubious veracity; of questionable accuracy or truthfulness; in the nature of an urban legend: He told an apocryphal story about the sword, but the truth was later revealed.

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    I can understand the first time: accidents happen, things slip through. Really.
    But it’s incomprehensible that Wal-Mart didn’t charge the guy for the second and third “alternative medicine” doses. They’re slipping up. BADLY.

  8. IT-Chick says:

    Suing a place you love to shop for good deals because you were bitten by a snake outside. Hmmm. Does he not think they would have to make up for the loss somewhere?

    In any case, WalMart shoppers deserve to get bitten by snakes. The snakes are probably the nicest living thing in one of those stores.

  9. ExtraCelestial says:

    That picture kills me!

  10. cubsd says:

    “produces pain and swelling which usually subsides in a few days”

    That’s what happens when I just step foot in Walmart. Where’s MY lawsuit?

  11. mad3air says:

    I thought the rattling was the sound of them building another Walmart next door? I could be wrong…

  12. MitchEvious says:

    I hope he didn’t follow the Consumerist motto of “Consumers bite back”.

  13. Segador says:

    Aw, man, I had to pay for my last Wal-Mart Snakebite.

  14. Telekinesis123 says:


    Hey that’s nothing compared to my “A look at Facebook’s Disturbing TeArms Of Service” on my Digg submit on the 15’th, d’oh.

    • tande04 says:


      You get this everyday on every Gawker site (or former Gawker site in this case) yet it never seems to be an issue when its a normal user.

      Facebooker hate is getting old.

  15. Beerad says:

    Dangerously low prices, indeed.

  16. vildechaia says:

    OMG, my face hurts from laughing at the Comments! What a bunch of comedians.

    While I feel sorry for the poor guy who got bitten by the snake, I, too, fail to see how the store-whose-name-shall-not-be-mentioned could’ve prevented it.

  17. curtisawa says:

    “its rattle “is small and slender and produces a sound like the buzzing of an insect.” The rattle is fairly quiet, too, and can only be heard from a few feet away.”

    A few feet away, also known as the striking radius of a snake.

  18. Plates says:

    Florida, we need Bugs Bunny to deal with you one and for all!

  19. varro says:

    Suing for him is like suing should be for anybody – a business decision.

    (I*A*AL, btw. :)

  20. maevealleine says:

    typical walmart shopper behaviour. haven’t they put muzzles and diapers on them yet?

  21. OMG! Ponies! says:

    Someone get these motherf**kin’ snakes outta this motherf**ckin’ box store!

  22. OMG! Ponies! says:

    Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

    (I’d also have accepted “Housewares. Very deadly. You go first.”)

  23. embean says:

    I like how the pic (sans clothes rack) is of Ikea.

  24. savdavid says:

    Thank goodness! Finally a decent price for a pygmy rattler and I can get Great Value snake food, too!

  25. valen says:

    This story reminds me of a certain grocery employee union. Officially, they decry Walmart’s employment of non-union employees. Privately, the union members frequently shop Walmart to avoid the overpriced unionized local stores. Hypocrisy at its finest.

  26. Doooom says:

    My uncle is an employee in the garden center of a Wal-mart in Georgia, and this precise incident happened to him a few years back. Same type of snake and everything. Almost lost part of his thumb. It was weird.

  27. fatcop says:

    In Northern Florida, there is nowhere else to shop.

  28. ceilingFANBOY says:

    I wonder if he was looking at mushroom muuuushroooms while being badgered by this snake.