Eserhut v. Heister

762 P.2d 6 (1988)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Eserhut v. Heister

Washington Court of Appeals
762 P.2d 6 (1988)


Leonard Eserhut (plaintiff) worked for his employer, Utility Vault (defendant), along with co-employees Steve Heister, Gary Venn, and Tom Weist (collectively, the co-employees) (defendants). Eserhut worked on various projects with the co-employees until he was assigned to work on a special project with company management. While working on the special project, Eserhut made some unfortunate remarks about the co-employees. Also, the co-employees had become jealous of Eserhut. When the special project was over and Eserhut resumed working with the co-employees, there was friction. Personality clashes, Eserhut’s former comments, and the jealousy of the co-employees led the co-employees to isolate and socially ostracize Eserhut. The co-employees did not communicate with Eserhut. The conduct of the co-employees interfered with Eserhut’s job and caused Eserhut to experience depression and sleeplessness. Upon Eserhut’s complaint, company management communicated to the co-employees that their conduct was hurting the company and urged them to cooperate with Eserhut. However, the situation did not improve. Eserhut decided that he would quit and notified the company president of his decision. The president asked Eserhut to wait until he could speak with the co-employees. After speaking with the co-employees, the president notified Eserhut that the co-employees wanted him gone, and the president accepted Eserhut’s choice to resign. After Eserhut’s resignation, he filed suit against the co-employees and later joined Utility Vault as well on the rationale that the employer had ratified the conduct of the co-employees. A trial court ruled that the conduct of the co-employees had interfered with Eserhut’s work, caused him to resign, and cost him $48,500 in damages. However, the court also ruled that the co-employees were not liable in tort for intentional interference because their conduct was directed at Eserhut directly, and not toward Utility Vault, the employer. The court ruled that the actions of the co-employees did not cause Utility Vault to fire Eserhut. Eserhut appealed. The appellate court analyzed the actions of the co-employees in light of the elements for intentional interference under Washington law.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Webster, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership