Workplace Violence

Family of Workplace Violence Victim Sues Employer

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: February 20th, 2013
Topics: Workplace Violence |

On Sept. 27, 2012, Andrew Engeldinger stepped into a meeting at his Minnesota workplace, Accent Signage Systems, and was told he was being fired. Calmly, Mr. Engeldinger pulled a gun and killed Jacob Beneke, four other co-workers and a UPS deliveryman before killing himself.

The Engeldinger Massacre Spawns a Lawsuit

It was Minnesota’s deadliest workplace shooting.

Now Beneke’s family is suing the company, claiming it botched the firing and should have known from Engeldinger’s work history that he was potentially dangerous.

The company had repeatedly cited Engeldinger for offensive behavior, tardiness and poor job performance. He was told a week before the attack that executives wanted to meet with him about his employment.

In fact, on the day of the attack, Engeldinger was reminded about this meeting and allowed to go to his vehicle before it started, which is when he got his gun.

Beneke’s family, including his parents, wife and young son, also contends that Accent Signage should have known Engeldinger had violent tendencies, was mentally ill and was capable of hurting or even killing others. And they say the company should’ve known that he owned guns and thus that a shooting was foreseeable.

The lawsuit argues that the company acted carelessly and negligently when it gave Engeldinger advance notice about his possible firing and let him go to his vehicle before it. Lastly, they claim that the company should’ve taken security precautions and trained its employees how to fire someone.

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