Thorp Law Secures Groundbreaking Win in Workplace Violence Case

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Premises liability cases are not always about slip and fall accidents in grocery stores or dog bites at a neighbor’s house. Sometimes, they involve much more malicious circumstances, like an inadequate security claim involving workplace violence. At Thorp Law, my team and I see all sorts of negligent security claims and lawsuits, but one case, in particular, stands out.

I brought a claim against a multi-national business in a “workplace violence” case in Asheville, North Carolina. Three people were killed by James Davis, a violent ex-employee who went on a shooting spree at his old workplace two days after he was fired. Davis, nicknamed “Psycho” by his co-workers, had a gun fetish and a history of violence at the plant before he was fired. Top management knew that Davis had choked and threatened to kill a co-worker, had thrown another against a wall, and pulled a knife on a third co-employee. Management also knew that Davis had threatened to come back and "take management with me" if he were ever fired.

Before the managers fired him, they first made an escape plan to protect themselves, in case Davis reacted violently. But they didn’t make a plan to protect the workers in the plant in the days after Davis was terminated. Nor did they hire off-duty police officers who routinely provided security for $15 an hour to businesses in the area.

Davis returned two days later, killing three people and wounding another. The case resulted in the largest verdict in the nation in a workplace violence case. The case was featured on 20/20, CNN, and in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Our clients didn’t care about publicity. What mattered to them is that their victory honored the memories of their loved ones and sent a message to corporate boardrooms all across North Carolina: Take workplace violence seriously.

If you have a premises liability claim in North Carolina that requires serious attention, then look no further than Thorp Law for assistance. We are proud to be a nationally recognized law firm that fights the good fight for good people in bad times. Dial (919) 373-3390 to request a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.