Yunker v. Honeywell, Inc.

496 N.W.2d 419 (1993)

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Yunker v. Honeywell, Inc.

Minnesota Court of Appeals
496 N.W.2d 419 (1993)

Facts

Randy Landlin worked at Honeywell, Inc. (defendant) from 1977 until 1979, when Landlin was imprisoned for killing one of his Honeywell coworkers. Upon Landlin’s release from prison in 1984, Honeywell rehired Landlin to work as a custodian in one of Honeywell’s offices. However, Honeywell subsequently had to reassign Landlin two times to other office buildings because Landlin sexually harassed and abused female coworkers, challenged a male coworker to a fight, and threatened to kill another coworker. In 1988, Kathleen Nesser was assigned to Landlin’s maintenance crew. After Nesser rejected Landlin’s expression of romantic interest, Landlin began harassing and threatening Nesser at work and at home. Nesser asked her supervisor for help and eventually asked to be transferred away from Landlin’s facility. On July 1, 1988, Nesser found a death threat scratched on her work locker. Landlin did not return to work after that point and formally resigned from Honeywell on July 11. Eight days later, Landlin shot and killed Nesser. Landlin was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Jean Yunker (plaintiff), the trustee for Nesser’s heirs and next of kin, brought a wrongful-death action against Honeywell. Yunker asserted that Honeywell had negligently hired, retained, and supervised Landlin. Honeywell moved for summary judgment. The trial court found that Honeywell did not have a legal duty to Nesser and granted Honeywell’s summary-judgment motion. Yunker appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lansing, J.)

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