by: David Ham Updated:
CLARKSTON, Wash. - It's been more than a year since Mica Craig said he was bitten by a rattlesnake inside Walmart's Garden Center.
He was buying mulch for his marijuana plants when he went to move what he thought was a stick.
"After I found out it was a rattlesnake, I started going into a bad panic attack because I thought I was going to die," said Craig.
Since last May when he was bitten, he said the venom is gone and his hand has healed, but not completely.
"They had to slice me in four different spots on my hand to get the dead tissue out, and my ring finger and my pinky finger on my right hand do not work at 100 percent anymore," said Craig.
Craig filed a lawsuit in Asotin County, near the Idaho border, to cover his medical and legal expenses.
He estimates his medical bills are more than $100,000.
He thinks the rattlesnake bite could have been prevented.
"Oh yes, this could have been prevented," Craig added. "Down here on the river, it's known, that's why they call it the Snake River. There are snakes up and down this river everywhere."
Craig believes Walmart should have monitored the area in the garden center better.
An attorney representing Walmart on this case said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.
"Based on Mr. Craig's previous public statements, he mistook a snake for a stick while he was in our parking lot. He was apparently bitten when he touched it. We're always concerned with the safety of our customers and, based on what took place that day, we immediately called a pest control company to inspect the property. There have been no reports of any similar instances at the store," said Dan Fogleman, a Walmart spokesman, via email.
Craig said he still shops at Walmart. He just believes the company should help him after what he's been through.
"I have no hard feelings towards Walmart whatsoever; I shop there daily," he said.