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Jackson v. Righter

Supreme Court of Utah
891 P.2d 1387 (1995)


Facts

Mrs. Marie Jackson worked for Novell, Inc. (defendant). Grover Righter (defendant) was Mrs. Jackson’s supervisor. Righter and Mrs. Jackson had an affair. The sexual acts occurred both during business hours and after hours, and both at the office and outside of the office. Righter accepted a job at Univel (defendant), and Mrs. Jackson was transferred with him. Righter remained Mrs. Jackson’s supervisor at Univel, and the affair continued. Mr. Jackson (plaintiff), Mrs. Jackson’s husband, brought suit against Righter for alienation of affection, and against Novell and Univel, seeking to hold the companies vicariously liable for Righter’s conduct. Mr. Jackson also claimed that Novell and Univel’s negligent supervision of Righter caused the alienation of affection. Righter stated that his motivations in pursuing an affair with Mrs. Jackson were personal. The trial court granted Novell and Univel’s motions for summary judgment. Mr. Jackson appealed, arguing that Righter’s conduct was part of his role as Mrs. Jackson’s supervisor, including, spending a lot of one-on-one time with Mrs. Jackson.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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