Woman blames employer after co-worker threatens her

By Chris Dickerson | Feb 13, 2006

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman says her employer should have done a better job of protecting her from threats by another worker.

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman says her employer should have done a better job of protecting her from threats by another worker.

In a lawsuit filed Jan. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Kimberly Bryant claims a fellow employee of Western Inventory Service Inc. threatened to kill her while on the job.

Bryant said the incident occurred May 7, 2005. That's when Bryant says Dominica Harper "threatened plaintiff with immediate serious injury or death, by stating, among other things, 'Bitch, I'll kill you.'"

Bryant says she notified Joe Blondheim, her supervisor, immediately. She says Blondheim heard other threats himself.

"Immediately subsequent to these threats it came time for the work crew to leave the work location and proceed to travel back to the Charleston office by a common bus/van," Harper says in the suit. "Blondheim … disregarded the aforementioned threats and allowed the threatening employee (Harper) … to enter the bus/van along with the plaintiff.

"Plaintiff was subsequently assaulted and battered by defendant Harper and sustained serious injuries."

Bryant, being represented by attorney Jason Goad of Hunt & Serreno in Charleston, lists Western Inventory, Harper and Blondheim as defendants.

She claims deliberate intent led to unsafe working conditions and the threats made against her. As a result, Bryant says she suffered serious personal injuries, incurred medical expenses, endured pain and suffering and will do so in the future, suffered humiliation and embarrassment, sustained a loss of the capacity to enjoy life and suffered other damages.

Bryant also says she was a victim of assault and battery.

"Harper willfully and intentionally threatened and conducted herself in a manner so as to put plaintiff in an immediate fear for her personal safety," she claims in the suit. "Harper willfully and intentionally battered plaintiff by striking her in the face."

As a result, Bryant says she was afraid for her life, suffered mental anguish, endured humiliation and embarrassment and suffered other damages. She also says she incurred serious personal injuries, medical bills, humiliation and embarrassment, loss of capacity to enjoy life, pain and suffering and in future, other damages.

Bryant seeks compensatory damages, attorney fees, pre-judgment interest and other relief.

She requests a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Duke Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-111

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