Home > Uncategorized > Assault Charges against DA Relegated to Workers’ Comp

Assault Charges against DA Relegated to Workers’ Comp

What happens when your boss has his employees come and “assault” you?  Remember, assault is defined as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another”, and that is what was claimed in the case of Ristow v. County of San Bernardino.  There, an employee claimed that San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos, after the fallout of a media-discovered… “relationship” between the Honorable Ramos and Ms. Ristow, ordered his investigators to come to her home to deliver a letter, apparently with their hands on their guns.

Among other causes of action, Ms. Ristow claimed that she was the tort-victim of an assault by these investigators.  In response, the County punted the claim into your humble blogger’s domain, saying it belonged to Workers’ Compensation and not the civil lawsuit world.

What result?  The Trial Judge granted defendant’s demurrer, and plaintiff appealed.  On appeal, in an unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal upheld the demurrer, holding that unless the harm was “proximately caused by the willful and unprovoked physical act of aggression of the other employee,” Ms. Ristow cannot proceed in civil court.

Although the DA is technically a county employee, as was Ms. Ristow, the facts, as alleged, give rise to the theory that the DA merely conspired to have Ms. Ristow assaulted, rather than conducting the assault himself.

Because there was no physical act of aggression by Ramos himself, and no pleading to the effect that another employee committed an act of physical aggression against Ms. Ristow, her claim is condemned to the maze of the workers’ compensation system.

Ms. Ristow, as so aptly put by my dear friend Dante, “abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

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