Jaspan Schlesinger LLP Successfully Defends School District Against Claim of Assault by Employee
Date: October 17th, 2017
Location: Mineola, New York

Jaspan Schlesinger successfully defended its School District clients in a suit brought by a District employee.  The employee sued the District and his immediate supervisor for assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional inflection of emotional distress after his supervisor required the employee to attend a meeting in his office to explain his absence from work.  The employee accused his supervisor of yelling at him in a threatening manner after the employee refused to hand over a doctor’s note explaining his absence.  The employee alleged that as a result of his supervisor’s conduct he suffered a stroke.  At his deposition the employee admitted that his supervisor never physically touched him or prohibited him from leaving the office.

In granting the District defendants’ motion to dismiss, the Court agreed with Jaspan Schlesinger that a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress requires conduct that is so outrageous as to be regarded as “atrocious and intolerable in a civilized society”, and that the behavior alleged by the employee was not so extreme.  The Court also noted with regard to the false imprisonment claim that the employee entered the office voluntarily and there was no allegation that the employee was prohibited from leaving.  Jaspan Schlesinger pointed out in its motion to dismiss that the employee admitted at his deposition that his supervisor actually told him to leave the office and go back to work after he refused to provide the doctor’s note.

As for the assault and battery claim, the Court agreed with Jaspan Schlesinger that there was no allegation of bodily touching or that the employee suffered an “imminent apprehension of harmful contact” by his supervisor.

Finally the Court agreed with Jaspan Schlesinger that the employee’s exclusive remedy was a claim under the Worker’s Compensation law.  The Court noted that the employee had a pending Worker’s Compensation claim at the time he commenced his lawsuit and that it was “well established that the exclusive remedy available to an employee injured in the course of his employment by either a fellow worker or by his or her employer is to file a claim for Worker’s Compensation benefits”. Although there are some limited exceptions to the rule, the Court agreed with the District’s position that the exceptions did not apply in this case.

Jaspan Schlesinger LLP partner, Stanley A. Camhi, represented the defendants.
Poggio v. Lisa and Bethpage UFSD, (Nass. Sup. Index No. 598/17).

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Stephanie A. Speirs is sworn in at the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Dept.

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