Visitor Question

Physically Assaulted by Another Employee at Work…

Submitted By: Mark (Shreveport, LA)

I was at work and another employee and I were just “shooting the breeze” when he suddenly got upset and physically attacked me. He hit me and knocked me down, then kicked me the face two times. Throughout the entire attack I did not throw one punch. I was completely taken by surprise since I never expected I would be attacked by another employee.

I’d like to know if my employer is liable for my injuries from this incident or is it all on the assaulter?

My injuries from this assault were: six loose teeth, a broken nose, a minor concussion, and upon falling to the ground I damaged my left elbow and twisted my back. I’m just wondering what my best course of action is. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mark,

You present an interesting set of facts. It is not often we hear of one employee suddenly attacking another without any provocation.

Either the person who assaulted you has some serious psychological issues, or there are some additional facts we are not aware of.

It is incongruous to believe two employees were “shooting the breeze” when suddenly one employee viciously attacked the other. Although there may be some facts you neglected to share with us that does not excuse the employee from liability for assaulting you.

Because of the seriousness of the attack we must presume you called the police. An assault like the one you described is clearly a criminal act.

With a police report in hand you will have the basis of a strong civil case against him.

Additionally, if the District Attorney decides to offer the fellow probation, there may be a way for you to be reimbursed for the medical and related costs you incurred.

Contact the District Attorneys Office. Ask to speak with the prosecutor assigned to your case. Tell her as a result of the assault you suffered serious injuries and incurred doctors’ and other related costs. Tell her if she is going to offer him probation that she make as a requirement of probation he pay your medical bills and related expenses. If you lost any time from work or spent any money on dentists or prescription medicines, tell the prosecutor you want to be reimbursed for those amounts as well.

In the alternative, if for some reason you didn’t report the criminal act to the police, you still have a strong civil case against the employee for your injuries and related expenses as set out above.

Whether your employer is liable or not will depend on several factors. If the employer knew the employee had a history of unprovoked criminal behavior and failed to protect you, the employer may be liable. If the employer knew the assault was about to occur and took no action to stop it, then your employer may be liable as well.

There isn’t a “Yes or No” answer to whether your employer is liable for your injuries and related costs. It will really depend on her knowledge of the possibility of attack, and measures your employer took to thwart the attack.

Learn more here: Assaults and Workplace Violence

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

Best of luck with your claim,

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2 thoughts on “Physically Assaulted by Another Employee at Work…

  1. Unknown says:

    What happens when a NEW employee assaulted me within the first week of work! As I’ve been a LOYAL worker of 5 years. I did not throw a single punch, let alone any name-calling! He head-butted me as he was walking out. I reported to it to the FLOOR manager and the hub manager! Only to be told that he is fired. As next week comes around we needed a replacement fast, so they REHIRED the same person!!! The same one who assaulted me is what I said.

    The HUB manager specifically said well “I have to do what’s best for the company” then proceeded to walk away with no concerns or anything to my well being as this is now my partner welding side by side! Two weeks go by with nothing, no eye contact, no apology, nothing, just won’t even look and has made the whole workplace just uncomfortable.

    I don’t know why he snapped as he said I talked too much, that’s his reason. I didn’t file a police report as I figured he would never be seen again as what they told me the day I was assaulted. I’m not trying to stir up anything but now my workplace is not the same. This guy is trying to like work super hard to get me fired or make me look bad. I need to know what are my rights and is this even legal as I don’t know when this dude will snap again.

    The workplace is uncomfortable and I am in fear of losing a job or possibly being assaulted again. I’d like to know my right as in Oregon law about this unsafe/distress workplace. I totally feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick, as they told me to stay away from him which is entirely impossible.

    I used to love my job and who I worked with, but now it’s totally changed. I feel that this company doesn’t care about my safety and just did what they needed and brought him back as they can’t find new welders because they offer crappy pay when it’s fabricating. I had a good position prior him, being able to teach people skills and how to do things the way we do it at the job. As my hub manager told me to help these newer employees and mold them into what we need from them.

    Again just wonder what rights I have and how I should go about this as I work with my brothers and actually do like it, but as I mentioned this cannot be legal as I feel like it’s an unsafe and/or unfair situation. I’m just waiting one day that he is going to snap again at me or someone else. I don’t want to sue but need to know what’s legal and what’s not, as I’m in constant fear/contact and always around this dude which comes off very hostile as he is trying to outwork me to get me fired or something. I’d just like some word of advice for future events

  2. Pauline says:

    I was sitting on a bin working when my supervisor told me get up, I suppose to be on my feet all day, then pulled out the bin that I was sitting on. I fell backward but got my balance. I pushed the bin back, but he moved it out of the way again. Then the supervisors send me home.

    I went to the doctor then made a report, but was waiting to hear from Human Resources. Security said I can’t make a report to HR, they will give HR the report.

    A few months went by and I haven’t heard from HR, but my supervisors began bullying me, harassing me, giving me less days to work, very poor evaluations, they were being unfair, dishonest, and sent me home for using the restroom for 1 minute. They even told me I can’t use restroom one day.

    My health was at risk in an area the supervisor wanted me to work, with mold and fiberglass particles. I asked him If he can allow me to do something else, again he sent me home. I was called by HR on Saturday and was fired.

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