Stabbed in Anger Management Class
SEATTLE (CN) - A woman in a court-ordered anger management class claims a fellow student stabbed her for asking her to be quiet during a Dr. Phil video, yelling, "I'm going to f---ing kill you and your family, bitch!" while the instructor looked on and "did nothing to intervene or de-escalate the violent confrontation."
Luna Oraivej says she was stabbed three times in and around her shoulders, left "terrified and bleeding" while the instructor led the other student outside.
Oraivej says she had to call 911 herself. She sued the anger management class contractor, Court Services Institute, its owner Lorraine Nelson and instructor Eric Leberg, in King County Court.
Oraivej says she agreed to take anger management classes in exchange for dismissal a charge of malicious mischief. She was attending her second class when the instructor began showing a Dr. Phil video.
"At approximately 8:45 AM Mr. Leberg turned off the lights, hit 'play' on a video for the students to watch, and then took his seat across the aisle and about six feet away from Ms. Oraivej. The videotape was an episode of the daily afternoon television show, 'Dr. Phil.' All Dr. Phil episodes contain a disclaimer warning viewers that the show is for 'entertainment purposes' only, and that his advice, opinions, or statements should not be considered individual, group, or medical therapy, or a substitute or replacement for those therapies," the complaint states.
Oraivej says another student, Faribah Maradiaga, showed up more than an hour late to class.
"CST's own written policy states that students arriving late to its classes will not be admitted. In spite of its stated policy, Mr. Leberg allowed Ms. Maradiaga into the classroom and did not at any time ask her to leave or wait outside," according to the complaint.
Oraivej says Maradiaga was wearing a red bandana on her leg, which is a "sign of gang involvement and/or gang loyalty."
The complaint states: "In spite of the red bandana worn by a student who was required to attend anger management classes because she assaulted her principal, Mr. Leberg took no precautions to protect the safety of the other CSI patrons, including Ms. Oraivej, and failed to appreciate the risk of danger.
"Ms. Maradiaga sat down two rows behind Ms. Oraivej. Soon after she arrived, Ms. Maradiaga began yelling and cursing about the 'Dr. Phil' video playing in the classroom.
"Mr. Leberg remained seated and did nothing to intervene or Stop Ms. Maradiaga from disrupting the class.
"Because Mr. Leberg failed to take any action, plaintiff politely asked Ms. Maradiaga to stop yelling at the video and to 'give it a chance.'
"Mr. Leberg remained seated and did nothing to intervene in the exchange between
plaintiff and Ms. Maradiaga and took no precaution to avoid a hostile conflict within the classroom."
Oraivej says Maradiaga was "irate and shouting," and got up from her desk to "physically confront Ms. Oraivej" with a knife.
"Ms. Maradiaga then swung the knife four times at plaintiff, aiming for her neck. Purely because plaintiff instinctively shrunk back in her chair, guarding her neck and head with her shoulders, Ms. Maradiaga ended up stabbing plaintiff in her left and right shoulders three times.
"Mr. Leberg, in spite of his 40 years of law enforcement experience, did nothing to intervene in the violent and potentially deadly situation evolving in his classroom just six feet away from where he remained seated.
"After stabbing plaintiff at least three times, Ms. Maradiaga threatened, 'I'm going to fucking kill you and your family, bitch!'
"Mr. Leberg finally intervened and nonchalantly walked over to Ms. Maradiaga, took her by the arm, and escorted her out of the classroom without saying anything to Ms. Oraivej, much less assuring her that he would call 911.
"With blood from the stab wounds soaking through her clothes and flowing down her arms, Ms. Oraivej managed to call 911 by herself. Mr. Leberg did not return, leaving Luna Oraivej terrified and bleeding in the classroom," according to the complaint.
Oraivej says police arrived and arrested Maradiaga, and medics treated her stab wounds, but she did not immediately go to the hospital because she was afraid that if she didn't finish the class, "she would not meet her sentencing requirements, and would go to jail."
"Rather than correcting her or offering to help her complete the course on another date before the sentencing deadline, Ms. Leberg told Ms. Oraivej that he just had a little more coursework to get through. Ms. Oraivej stayed until the end of class while bleeding profusely, earned her certificate, and promptly went to the hospital," according to the complaint.
Oraivej says no one at CSI ever contacted her to see if she was all right after being stabbed, or to offer her a refund.
She claims that CSI makes "hundreds of thousands of dollars each year" from court-ordered anger management classes, so it can afford a $40 metal detecting wand for concealed weapons.
"Use of such a wand is a reasonable and necessary precaution to protect court-mandated participants from violent injury where almost all of the participants are there specifically because they have a history of violence," the complaint states. Oraivej also says a routine bag check might also be a good idea.
She claims that out of the 24 service providers for anger management listed in the King County District Court Master Referral List, CSI is the only one "that does not guarantee that its anger management instructors are credentialed or accredited healthcare providers in counseling, therapy, mental health, or anger management fields."
"CSI's name, logo, website, advertising, and other representations are designed to mislead consumers and customers into thinking CSI is associated with and/or approved by the King County court system and other Washington court systems to profit from the trustworthiness assumed of the court systems, and to deflect attention from the fact that CSI instructors lack the most basic healthcare credentials reasonably expected by persons looking to benefit from court-mandated anger management treatment," the complaint states.
Oraivej seeks general and special damages for injuries, emotional distress and severe anxiety, a refund for the classes, and treble damages for injury to business and property.
She is represented by Andrew and Courtney Ackley.