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Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 73
Experience:  Sworn to the California Bar in 2011. Former staff editor at The New York Times Co. and seasoned news professional of 20 years experience in the U.S. and abroad.
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I was attacked by a co worker over 4 months ago. He brought

Customer Question

I was attacked by a co worker over 4 months ago. He brought his feast to my face and yielded I will beat the hell out of you. Our supervisor interfered and there was no physical harm. Because of his action I was on disability for over 3 months for acute stress and was back to work over a month ago. The aggressor still with company. Employer moved him about 100 feet away and told him to stay away from me. I go to work in fear every day and have lost many hours since I came back to work. Thinking about going to work in the same building with the other guy presented prevent me from getting good sleep at night. I have nightmare on a regular basis and in most of them this guy is chasing me to harm me. Sometimes with baseball bat, some time a large sword or even machin time I had a dream this guy brought a buildozor and demolished our home with me and my family in it asleep.some days I don't to go to work, sometimes going late because of lack of sleep the night before and sometimes I leave the work early in the fear that he may attack to harm or kill me. Of course all this leaves are at the expense of me using my vacations or sick leave and other leave hours I accumulated for rainy days such as sick care for me and my family.
A few days ago I got the report of the incident and noticed that aggressor
Admitted to the investigator that he wanted to punch me in the face, since then my fear is multiplied by a thousand. Any time I see in the news of mass murder in colleges place of works, I see this guy doing the same thing in our office.when this guy attacked me, I saw eyes of murderer and any time I remember that I start shaking and cannot function. At one occasion when I was driving on the highway I remembered his eyes and unfortunately thought the driver next to me was him. I got so scared that I pressed on the gas and drove as fast as I could to get away from him. After a few yard I had to stop because cars were stoppage at the red light and I had no option but to stop to. After a few second the guy cought up with me. At first I did not wanted to look at him, but I told myself I should watch him so if he want to attack I be prepaired. When I look at him I noticed this is not him, it was such relieve. I believe this guy is not a normal perso and most likely under some kind of medication. I doubt if he has any friend in the company. I believe he has nothing to loose if he does something stupid. My doctor recommended that I work from home, but it seems the employer is not favoring that. They haven't rejected yet, but I'm not noticing anything in their part to do that. I lied to my family by telling them that I'm working in a different facility so they won't get worried, but I can lie for ever.
Any subjection a that can help my situation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert: replied 1 year ago.

Disclaimer: I am licensed in California only, and we cannot provide specific legal advice in this forum because no lawyer-client relation exists.

An action in tort for assault requires the aggressor present sufficiently violent behavior: this usually requires words AND deeds. For example, an aggressor simply yelling profanities and screaming threats to bash one's head in, is not going to be enough. Besides the violent yelling and threats, the aggressor needs to engage in behavior and actions that present a credible threat of imminent bodily harm to the victim. For example, yelling from across the room, and then rampaging over toward the victim as if lunging in an attack with raised fists (whether he actually attacked or not).

One of the key components is the victim must have experienced actual fear of bodily harm.

This seems to closely resemble your narrative, so I would encourage you to consult a qualified lawyer in your local jurisdiction.

Assault is an intentional tort, and besides pain and suffering damages, it opens the potential for punitive damages.

Also, there is is the tort of infliction of emotional distress, with symptoms such as you describe: heightened anxiety, sleep disorders, constant fears, up to post traumatic stress syndrome. Your time out on disability, and medical records will help substantiate that you suffered physical symptoms as a result of the assault.

Infliction of emotional distress is either intentional or negligent.

Usually, it will be negligent infliction; to substantiate intentional infliction, one has to show the aggressor knew the victim was unusually vulnerable to such trauma, or actually intended the victim suffer long-term physical discomfort/fear/etc. Intentional infliction opens the door to punitive damages, but is hard to prove.

Again: I urge you seek local counsel soon to be in time for any limitations period for filing an action.

Hope this helps -- if so, please rate me positive! thanks!