Today we bring you a story out of our own backyard. ***No- we don’t all settle disputes in the same manner that this resident did so don’t hold that against us. Usually we see retaliation cases from employer to employee (like we wrote about earlier this week). But it is possible that a disgruntled employee will sometimes retaliate against their employer if they feel their comp settlement is not going the way they want it to. Such was the case for a Downingtown man, who took it to the extreme when he was apparently upset about an ongoing comp case.
Michael Norley Jr. was arrested for suspicion of arson at the Pro Signs building and attempted homicide of one of the owners of Pro Signs, a business where he had previously worked. Officers say that Mr. Norley, dressed as a ninja, attacked his uncle (and partial owner of Pro Signs) with a hammer outside of his home in August.
Last year, the Pro Signs building had experienced several fires. Investigators determined that the cause was arson since they found accelerants inside the building and graffiti sprayed on the walls that included racially charged messages. But since they believe Norley was behind the fires they think he may have been trying to lead investigators astray with the racial messages. The fires caused $375,000 in damages to the business.
The District Attorney, Tom Hogan, said that Norley acted extremely recklessly and that witnesses say he held a lot of hostility towards the owners of the companies which the investigators think was in part due to an ongoing workers’ comp claim Norley was involved in.
“This defendant engaged in extraordinarily reckless behavior. He tried to burn down a building. He tried to inflame racial tensions with graffiti. This defendant was out for destruction and chaos at any cost,” he said.
Workers’ comp is a system that is set up so that people don’t feel the need to sue, or in this case, take matters into their own hands. If an injury occurred on the job and that worker really deserved comp, he would have been better off letting the system doing its job instead of senselessly destroying property and injuring others.