A tragic case of workplace violence occurred Tuesday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky at LG&E. Andre Johnson, age 53, was shot and killed by a co-worker. The co-worker then committed suicide. Initial reports have stated that a conflict had existed between Johnson and his murderer for approximately 1 year. These sort of reports are very disturbing form a legal perspective, in that an employer, such as LG&E, owes a duty to its employees to provide a safe workplace. If LG&E was on notice that Mr. Johnson’s co-worker and murderer was a potential danger, then it should have taken action to address this situation. Mr. Johnson’s family and his Estate may have legal claims against LG&E related to his death, including a potential negligent supervision and/or negligent retention claim. The question to be examined is was it “foreseeable” by LG&E that Mr. Johnson’s killer/co-worker would act violently towards Mr. Johnson.
The family of Andre Johnson and his Estate will have a wrongful death claim against Jeremy, “Billy” Davis’ Estate (the co-worker who shot and killed Mr. Johnson). If the facts indicate that LG&E could have or should have done more to prevent this murder in the workplace, then LE&E may also be liable to Mr. Johnson’s family and his Estate for the damages stemming from this workplace violence.
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