Nicole Anderson, a Texas woman who claimed that she was raped during a co-worker’s birthday party at work has not been able to collect compensation from her employer for negligence and assault, ruled a state’s appeal court. Anderson, who worked as a credit manager for Impact Floors of Texas, claimed that she and other female employees was sexually harassed by Henry Lopez.
In her claim, she also alleged that Taylor Whitehead, Lopez’s supervisor, brought alcohol to work to celebrate his birthday and was permitted by Impact Floors, not just to enter the premises with the alcohol, but also to consume it.
The Events that Transpired
After the party, only Whitehead, Anderson and Lopez were remaining, with Anderson preparing to head home after she received a text from her husband. Anderson claimed that the next thing she remembered, was her sister Linda, walking into the bathroom to see Lopez on top of her, with her skirt pulled all the way up. Anderson’s sister Linda even testified saying that she walked in on her sister face-down on the bathroom floor with Lopez on top of her ‘raping her. Anderson then went to the hospital where it was confirmed that she had been raped.
But was it consensual? Why did she remain at the party so late?
Impact Floors Sued for Battery, Negligence and Assault
She sued Impact Floors for battery, negligence and assault, and claimed that they did not provide her with a safe workplace. The trial court however ruled against her. Anderson appealed that Whitehead’s conduct led to Lopez’ actions being ratified by Impact Floors. In an opinion written by Justice Kerry P. FitzGerald, the Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals disagreed.
According to the report by FitzGerald, the complainant could not prove that Whitehead knew what Lopez was doing, and that she was laughing and did not appear to be in distress when she spoke to officers. The judge even said that Anderson admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the time. He even stated that Anderson was not able to prove her allegations of Impact Floors being an unsafe workplace.
Lopez was fired from his job at Impact Floors on the day of the incident and Whitehead was fired three weeks later.
Was it worth it?
A Qualified Worker’s Compensation Attorney can Gauge the Success Rate of Any Claim
Filing a worker’s compensation claim can be a tricky and ambiguous process. There are times when there is no doubt about the fact that an organization is liable to pay compensation or damaged to an injured worker, but then there are times when there are several gray areas.
An experienced worker’s compensation attorney, who has spent years dealing with cases such as the one mentioned above will be able to gauge how successful a claim might be, and which ones do not hold any ground in a court of law. The legal representation that a skilled worker’s compensation attorney can provide is incomparable and can safeguard a claimant’s interests substantially.