Kendrick v. Peel, Eddy & Gibbons Law Firm

795 S.W.2d 365, 32 Ark. App. 29 (1990)

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Kendrick v. Peel, Eddy & Gibbons Law Firm

Arkansas Court of Appeals
795 S.W.2d 365, 32 Ark. App. 29 (1990)

Facts

On December 28, 1987, Kathy Kendrick was working as a receptionist at the office of the Peel, Eddy & Gibbons law firm (Peel) (defendant) when she was shot and killed by Ronald Gene Simmons. Simmons came into the office, shot Kathy, and left without harming anyone else. An attorney with Peel later testified that they could find no connection between Simmons and any of the attorneys or clients of the firm. Kathy had previously worked with Simmons at Woodline Motor Freight. Vicki Lynn Jackson, Kathy’s friend and coworker at Woodline, testified that Kathy had told her that Simmons had repeatedly asked Kathy out, and Kathy had repeatedly refused. On the morning of December 28, Simmons shot 14 of his family members before Kathy. After shooting Kathy, Simmons went to a former job of his, where he shot two people, and then he went to Woodline, where he shot his former supervisor. Simmons then told Jackson that “he had gotten everybody who hurt him,” told her to call the police, and held a gun on her until the police arrived. Following Kathy’s death, Ronald Dale Kendrick (plaintiff), Kathy’s four-year-old son, filed a claim for workers’-compensation death benefits, arguing that Kathy’s employment with Peel created a positional risk for her death. The Workers’ Compensation Commission denied the claim, finding that Kathy’s death was a result of Simmons’s personal vendetta. On appeal, Ronald Kendrick argued that Jackson’s testimony was hearsay and inadmissible.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mayfield, J.)

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