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.

Share this Post

Garrison, Levin-Epstein Receives “Best Law Firms” Honors from U.S. News & World Report for 2019

About the Author

Avatar

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

Learn More

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Let Us Review Your Case

We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Client Experiences

During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

Ethan Levin-Epstein represented me during a most painful and challenging crisis in my personal and professional life. Seeing me within 24 hours of being referred, his support and advocacy, wisdom and clarity not only resulted in a favorable negotiated outcome for me and for my family, but gave me peace of mind and the courage to recover. I am very grateful to have met Ethan and his team and would refer anyone in need to this haven. — C.L., Guilford, CT

You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

Proven Results & Personalized Attention When You Need It Most

American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Back to Top