GALVESTON, Texas (CN) — A personal chef turned full-time caretaker claims in court that her employer turned her life into a “living hell” by, among other things, defecating purposely around the house and ordering her to clean it up.
In her Friday lawsuit in Galveston County Court, Victoria Wieszkowiak claims that Joan Teachworth’s behavior was “humiliating, abusive, violent and grotesque … objectively repugnant” and that her “violent propensities and behavior resulted in the physical harm of plaintiff.”
Wieszkowiak says she began working as a chef for Teachworth in September 2016. Teachworth needed personal assistants as she had cancer, Wieszkowiak says. By October, she says, nearly every housekeeper had quit because of the abusive treatment, Wieszkowiak became her full-time caretaker.
The lawsuit describes abuse that could be characterized as grotesque:
“Defendant Teachworth defecated on the tile floor and instructed Plaintiff to clean the floor;
“Defendant Teachworth would regularly defecate in her underwear and tell plaintiff, ‘I just shit in my underwear. You need to clean it;’
“Defendant Teachworth would defecate on toilet paper and present it to plaintiff, asking her, ‘Do you want a chocolate chip?’;
“Defendant Teachworth would regularly stand one to three inches away from plaintiff’s face and scream at the top of her lungs, berating plaintiff’s intelligence and choices regarding cooking;
“When Defendant Teachworth would berate plaintiff by screaming at her, she would purposefully defecate in her pants during the conversation and tell plaintiff to clean her clothing;
“If defendant Teachworth became frustrated with plaintiff, she would remove all of her clothing and go into the back yard, get on all four extremities, and spread her genitals toward plaintiff to elicit a response”.
Wieszkowiak says Teachworth eventually shoved her into a kitchen cabinet and injured her neck.
This came after months of 15-hour days in which she cooked all Teachworth’s meals, drove her to the hospital for appointments, helped her shower and changed the bandages and tubes used for cancer treatment.
Worried about her employer’s “increasingly abhorrent behavior,” Wieszkowiak says, she asked Teachworth’s son, co-defendant Jon Christopher, to hire professionals to oversee her care. He shrugged off the request off and told her to hug Joan the next time she became agitated, to calm her down, according to the complaint.
When she did so, Wieszkowiak says, Teachworth shoved her into the kitchen cabinet. She hurt her neck in the fall, and now suffers from constant neck and back pain.
She seeks more than $1 million in punitive damages for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence, pain and suffering and lost earning capacity.
She is represented by Anthony Buzbee in Houston.