Lawsuit against Red Bull alleges attack at GR distributor

Posted at 12:58 PM, Oct 28, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man has filed a lawsuit against energy drink powerhouse Red Bull, claiming he was attacked by a coworker while employed at their West Michigan distribution center.

Johnny Combs says in the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court, that he was hired in July of 2015 as an operations manager at Red Bull’s distribution center on Broadmoor Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.

In the lawsuit, he says he informed his supervisors about his issues with PTSD, depression, anxiety and seizures related to a “prior traumatic brain injury” he had sustained from a fall. Combs claims in the suit that his coworkers would harass him because of his disability.

The lawsuit says he was repeatedly demeaned because of his disability. Combs accuses his sales manager of regularly yelling at and talking over him during the workday.

The lawsuit alleges that things came to a head on Jan. 18, 2019. Combs claims that he was preparing to speak during a company meeting when he was all of a sudden punched in the back of the neck by his sales manager. He alleges that the sales manager then told him to “sit in his f—ing chair and shut the f— up and if you don’t like it you can f—ing leave, go to your office, or go home.”

Combs says this assault, as well as continued harassment, made his mental health issues worse.  His last day with the company was apparently March 13.

Combs is seeking damages related to the mental anguish he says he’s endured, as well as lost earnings.

FOX 17 has reached out to Red Bull North America for comment but has not yet received a response.