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Publix victim unlikely warned of slaying suspect's firing

TARPON SPRINGS — Arunya Rouch threatened to kill Gregory Janowski if she was fired from the Publix on U.S. 19.

Despite that, it's unlikely that anyone from the company told Janowski that his would-be killer was going to be terminated early Tuesday.

"The majority of the time," spokeswoman Shannon Patten said, "the information is confidential. The only folks involved are the ones that are part of the investigation."

Even after the company fires employees, it does not always escort them off the premises.

"It would depend on the reason for the termination," said Patten, who would not discuss specifics in Rouch's case.

A few hours after Publix let Rouch go, police say, she shot and killed Janowski.

Should the store have been more protective?

Tampa personal injury attorney Scott DiStasio said it's hard to fault the store for under-reacting. After all, it did fire Rouch after she made the alleged death threats.

"The question is, was her threat, 'I'm going to come back later to Publix and get you,' or just a general threat about harming him outside of work?" DiStasio said.

In any case, the workers' compensation system grants wide immunity to employers. A company would be guilty of a worker's death only if it was a "virtual certainty" the employer's conduct caused the harm, DiStasio said.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Publix victim unlikely warned of slaying suspect's firing 03/31/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:32pm]
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