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  1. ace is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 10:21am


     Style: mixed +

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Court upholds firing of worker over fight
    Appellate judges toss out damages award of $335,000
    Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Friday, June 13, 2003
    2003 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback


    URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/06/13/BA30288.DTL


    Hector Escalante made a mistake when he stopped trying to flee the onrushing attack of a co-worker at a Southern California art studio and decided to defend himself.

    At least that was the conclusion of Escalante's employer, who fired him from his job as a printmaker. This week, a state appellate court ruled that the firing was legal.

    In a ruling made public Tuesday, the court said it sympathized with Escalante, but his employer had the right to fire him for taking part in a fight when he had the chance to retreat. Finding that the termination involved no violation of public policy, the three-judge panel threw out a damages award of $335,000 to Escalante.

    "Retreat might not serve the victim's pride, or assuage his anger at being attacked, but it does tend to prevent escalation of the violence, and we cannot see why an employer should not be allowed to opt for that result," said Justice William Bedsworth.

    Escalante's attorney Mark Weidmann said he would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

    "It's shocking that you cannot defend yourself in the workplace or you're going to be subject to losing your job," said Weidmann, adding that his client had suffered brain damage in the attack. "Are you just supposed to sit there and take a beating?"

    But Gary Bennett, attorney for Escalante's former employer, Solutions Unlimited of Fullerton, said a contrary ruling would have told employers "that they could never terminate anybody who was involved in a workplace altercation.

    All they would have had to say was, 'I was defending myself.' "

    Escalante, who had worked at the studio since 1996, was assaulted by co- worker Ion Stanei without provocation in February 1999, the court said.

    According to trial testimony, Stanei started screaming at Escalante, swung a piece of wood at him, then hit him with a hammer or a box of screws.

    Escalante fled, but Stanei chased him and threw a box of screws that hit him in the back. Escalante turned from 30 to 40 feet away, saw Stanei holding a large metal cap, and ran up and grabbed him in a bear hug. Stanei struck Escalante in the head with the cap, causing substantial bleeding.

    Co-owner Jim Goetsch decided to fire both men, saying Escalante should have left the scene.

    An Orange County jury awarded Escalante $450,000 in damages, finding that his firing violated his right to defend himself. The trial judge reduced the award to about $335,000, according to Weidmann.
  2. Sensei Mak is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 10:36am


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    terrible

    Train to Fight and put everything into it.
  3. Phoenix is offline
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    Stand and Deliver!

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 10:42am

    supporting member
     Style: JKD Concepts, Kyokushin

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There's just no job security these days. Both in the figurative sense and the literal sense.



    I'm a firm believer in luck. I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. - Thomas Jefferson
    "Onward we stagger, and if the tanks come, may God help the tanks." - Col. William O. Darby
  4. PizDoff is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 10:49am

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: Grappling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Co-owner Jim Goetsch decided to fire both men, saying Escalante should have left the scene. "
    great sympathetic ASSHOLE!

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    Hard work, Patience, Dedication.
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  5. illyrus is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 11:48am


     Style: Sambo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Probably if the guy had continued running and left his office the employer would have fined him for trying to leave work early.

    Guess the art studio owner thought that violence should be painted, not seen.

    Yeah... I have nothing constructive to add.

    Wyatt
  6. Punisher is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 12:29pm

    supporting member
     Style: Five Animal Fighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I hate to say it, but I agree with the firing.

    The guy was 30 - 40 ft away and had effectively ran away to safety. He turned around and chose to escalate and prolong the encounter. His thought's weren't "Oh my God, I've got to protect myself", they were more likely "I'm going to teach that mother fucker a lesson for what he just did to me". The thing he was defending was his pride.

    If he had responded when he was ACTUALLY being attacked by the board or the hammer it would have been a different story, but that didn't happen.

    <marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>
  7. Omen Stone is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 12:32pm


     Style: non

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't agree Punisher it's just my personal belief if you get attack you should have every right to beat the **** out of person who attacked you.
  8. deus ex machina is offline
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    ***ned

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 12:55pm

    supporting member
     Style: i

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Your personal belief will get you put in jail.

    ~
    danny

    "All this talk about 'newbies' is making me a little nervous. You guys don't have any sort of secret hazing initiation involving wooden paddles and me screaming 'Thank you sir, may I have another?!' do you?"
  9. Punisher is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 1:03pm

    supporting member
     Style: Five Animal Fighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I respect your personal belief, but the law says differently.

    If you chose to prolong or escalate an encounter, you have to expect there to be consequences. Depending on what happened the "victim" could have been arrested for assualt along with the attacker. He is lucky he just lost his job.

    I do respect the fact he sued for a seemingly appropriate amount. Law suits ae supposed to be about restitution and making you whole, not about cashing in.

    <marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>
  10. Zujitsu Ka is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/13/2003 1:05pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree with punisher. He was at a safe distance and made a decision to go back to teach this guy a lesson. Problem is I agree with that too..
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