Hinkel v. Sataria Distribution & Packaging, Inc.
Indiana Court of Appeals
920 N.E.2d 766 (2010)
Mark Hinkel (plaintiff) worked for Sataria Distribution and Packaging, Incorporated (Sataria) (defendant) subject to a written employment contract. Hinkel had been working for two companies when John Jacobs, the owner of Sataria, met with him to discuss a job at Sataria. Hinkel was hesitant to agree to work for Sataria, so Jacobs told Hinkel that if things did not work out (that is, if Jacobs terminated Hinkel), Jacobs would pay Hinkel one year’s salary and provide insurance coverage for a year. Jacobs sent Hinkel a written job offer that contained the terms of employment like salary and start date, but it did not refer to severance packages. Hinkel signed the offer, quit his other jobs, and began working at Sataria. Hinkel alleged that Jacobs affirmed his promise to pay severance on two separate occasions in the months after Hinkel began his employment. Jacobs terminated Hinkel about four months after he started. Hinkel received six weeks of severance from Sataria and no insurance coverage. Hinkel filed an action for breach of contract and promissory estoppel against Sataria. Sataria moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. Hinkel appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Vaidik, J.)
Dissent (Crone, J.)
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