1 October survivor told to “suck it up” after PTSD, now suing employer

Apr 3 2019

As it appeared on Fox 5 KVU-TV

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — A 1 October shooting survivor sued the company he worked for.

Charles Giampaulo was in Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was with his family. Charles wasn’t hurt, but three of his family members were shot. His father-in-law was killed.

Giampaulo has been struggling mentally and he said his bosses punished him for it.

That’s why he sued Elevator Service, CO, INC., or “ESCO” on Tuesday in Connecticut.

“Worst of all you once sat me in your office and told me October has come and gone and I needed to get over it,” Giampaulo wrote in an email to his boss, Steve Roth, last year, months after the shooting.

“We are talking about a mass shooting involving 58 human beings who were shot and killed, including his own father-in-law,” said Nina Pirrotti

Pirrotti and Amanda DeMatteis are representing Giampaulo. They work for Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. in New Haven.

Giampaulo’s aunt and cousin were also shot. When Giampaulo’s went home, a doctor diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The lawsuit said he began experiencing, “panic attacks, claustrophobia, sleeplessness and anxiety.”

“The way to classify it, is a sense of panic and terror that over takes him at a given moment,” said DeMatteis.

Giampaulo went back to work three weeks after the shooting to a sales job he loved and excelled at.

His lawyers said he was “an all-star” at work and before PTSD and he was his bosses “golden boy.” Giampaulo had a good relationship with his boss Roth and describes him as a father figure in the lawsuit.

“I think this is what made it all the more traumatic for Mr. Guiampaulo,” said Pirrotti. “The people who were committing this kind of conduct were the very people who Mr. Giuampaolo had come to know as his second family.”

Giampaulo went to therapy. He said his employers were aware of his PTSD and treatments.

According to the lawsuit, “Even though he scheduled those appointments as late in the day as possible, each time he would get ready to depart for a session, colleagues and supervisors would roll their eyes and comment: ‘You are leaving already?'”

Pirrotti and DeMatteis said Giampaulo did not let his diagnosis impact his work.

But over the next six months following the shooting, Giampaulo said his bosses cut his commission at least six times, took away his managerial duties and said he “had a god complex.”

“We really viewed it as a campaign for the company to push him out,” said DeMatteis.

In the beginning of April 2018, Giampaulo confronted his bosses.

Roth allegedly told him, “October has come and gone, you need to get over it.”

The lawsuit said Roth’s wife told Giampaulo she got over cancer so he could get over PTSD.

“She told him she “sucked it up and you should do the same,” according to the complaint. Then, Giampaulo said they demoted him so, he quit.

“Likening his disability and the experience that he had witnessing 58 concert goers being murdered to breast cancer and telling him to suck it up, these are allegations that are strong. And we believe allegations that will be supportive of a constructive discharge,” said DeMatteis.

Roth did not respond to FOX5 for comment.

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