Eugene, OR asked in Personal Injury for Oregon

Q: My wife is a cashier at a dept. store . She was grabbed by her head by an autistic young man , accompanied by his mother

He pulled her hair and scratched her head in several places. Really shook her up . Store asked them to leave. Any recourse ?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brad  Holbrook
Brad Holbrook
  • Newberg, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I am so sorry to hear that this happened to your wife. I hope she is okay, and she was able to get any and all medical treatment that she needed, including use of a counselor. Fortuately, this does not happen too often. There could be some criminal liability, as she was a victim of disoderly conduct, harassment, and/or an assault and battery. And, it is evident that the fact that the man is autistic played a factor/role in this uncivilized behavior. However, no one should tolerate or expect to tolerate this type of behavior and attack. So, it is a case by case on criminal liability, in my opinion. However, the criminala aspect is up to the District Attorney in your county. You would start by calling your local Police Dept. or Sheriff. Has this happened before? Was there something about the interaction with your wife that triggered it? (Does not mean, at all, that she has any blamed whatsoever, but the cause should be determined); and then there could be liability if her employer was aware of this risk and failed to protect her or by the mother of the man and.or the man. The civil remedies available could be for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages to prevent this type of thing from happening to someone else. I hope that your wife is doing well now. Best wishes moving forward.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry for your wife's ordeal. Unfortunately, some law firms are reluctant to consider cases where recovery involves solely an uninsured individual. A starting point could be to reach out to workers' comp attorneys, as this occurred in the course of her employment. An experienced WC attorney could assess the matter in further detail, and identify the grounds for any third-party claims, if applicable. Good luck

Brad Holbrook agrees with this answer

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