BAYTOWN (FOX 26) - On April 13th the lifeless body of a 24-year-old woman was discovered in the parking lot of Walmart Store 2439 near Baytown in Chambers County, Texas.
Evidence inside her car and an autopsy would quickly confirm Karalee Williams died from a massive overdose of the addictive chemical Difluoroethane which she inhaled or "huffed" from cans of compressed air.
"We have information that she could have purchased up to 60 cans of this compressed air over a 25 or 26 hour period," said Jeff Steidley, an attorney representing William's mother.
The lethal intoxicants were purchased at the same Walmart where William's body was found. Attorney Steidley says over the course of a single day's time Karalee Williams purchased, in multiple transactions, can after can of Difluoroethane along with towels to administer the drug, stumbling incoherently from her car to Store 2439 and back again.
"The sheer volume that they are providing this woman, who is undeniably mentally impaired, knowing to an almost certainty that she is going to use it in an unlawful fashion, we think that crosses the line," said Steidley.
According to a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, witnesses say that during the uninterrupted binge Karalee Williams entered the store completely nude below the waist, her hair fouled with vomit and reeking of feces.
Instead of calling Sheriff's Deputies, Constables or EMS, Steidly says the evidence shows Walmart employees first provided Williams with a dress and then sold her more Diflouroethane, even after she reported suffering a seizure.
"I believe this is a case of gross negligence. Where the lack of care is so extreme it amounts to the highest breech of civil liability," said Steidley.
Williams' partially nude body was found roughly 37 hours after she first walked into the Walmart. It appears she never left the parking lot.
"I think the people of this country are good, kind, compassionate people and they would want Karalee treated better than she was treated and I think they will tell Walmart that," said Steidley.
Reached for comment, a Walmart spokesperson offered the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this situation. Our response to the lawsuit is contained within the court documents.”
A hearing in the case is set for October before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.