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Employee's battery claim dismissed

Judy Tahfs sued the owners of Star Manor in Northville and two supervisory employees after she was fired from her job as an RN at the facility.  Friction developed between Tahfs and at least one supervisor and a meeting was scheduled to discuss her performance.  Although accounts of the meeting vary, Tahfs alleged she was shoved into a wall by one of the managerial employees, suffering a knee injury.  That employee later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after a police investigation.  Tahfs ultimately won the battle but lost the war, however, as she was immediately fired, ostensibly on grounds of poor performance.

She sued for battery [illegal touching] and for violation of the Whistleblowers Protection Act.  The Court dismissed her case, and her appeal went to a Court of Appeals panel that included death-to-the-plaintiff Judge Henry Saad.  The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Tahfs' suit, rationalizing that her complaint to police was not made "to inform the public" but rather out of "vindictiveness."  One wonders how serious a battery must become before it is "in the public interest" that it be reported to civil authorities.

With regard to the battery claim, the Court ruled that Tahfs' only remedy was to collect workers compensation (limited disability wages and medical) because the wrongful actions by her co-worker did not constitute "intentional" harm.  Citing another Republican majority "exception" to the common law, this one created in 2010, the Court held that for an employee to satisfy the "intentionl tort" exception to the exclusive remedy language in the workers compensation act, the victim must prove that the intentional, criminal act of the employer was a deliberate act committed with intent to injure, and that "injury was certain to occur." 

Apparently you can commit the criminal act of shoving someone against a wall and not meet this standard--if that holding would be beneficial to corporate employers and insurance companies.  Just one more example of the extreme pro-business, anti-consumer, anti-middle-class-worker bias of Republican extremists.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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