Settlement Reached In Accent Signage Shooting Suit
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The family of a man killed in a 2012 office shooting at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis has reached an undisclosed settlement with the company, according to an attorney and an order filed Monday by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Jacob Beneke, 34, was one of six people killed by Andrew Engeldinger on Sept. 27, 2012, before Engeldinger took his own life. Three other workers were also injured in what became the deadliest workplace shooting in Minnesota.
Beneke's family sued Accent Signage and Engeldinger's estate last year, alleging the company should have known from Engeldinger's work history that he was potentially dangerous. Last summer, a judge threw out claims against the gunman's estate but allowed two negligence counts against the company to proceed.
In Monday's ruling, the appeals court said "the underlying matter has been settled, pending district court approval."
Phil Villaume, an attorney for Beneke's family, confirmed the case was settled, saying the matter was resolved within the last couple of weeks. He said he could not make additional comments or provide details.
Wendy Khabie, a spokeswoman for Accent Signage, said the court order speaks for itself, and the company had no further comment.
Engeldinger, 36, pulled a gun at a meeting in which he was being fired and killed Beneke, four other co-workers and a UPS deliveryman before killing himself. The company had repeatedly cited Engeldinger for offensive behavior, tardiness and poor job performance, and warned him a week before the attack that executives wanted to meet with him about his employment. On the day of the attack, Engeldinger retrieved a gun from his vehicle after being reminded of the late afternoon meeting.
Engeldinger's parents have said he was mentally ill and had refused their offers to get him help.
Beneke's survivors claimed Accent Signage acted carelessly and was negligent when it gave Engeldinger advance notice about his possible firing and allowed him to go to his vehicle. They also claimed Accent Signage was negligent for employing Engeldinger for years, despite his prior conduct, and said the company should have taken security precautions.
Engeldinger was hired in 1999 and worked in Accent's engraving department. Beneke, a sculptor and painter, was hired in 2005 as an engraver and was promoted to supervisor.
Beneke left behind his parents, a wife and a young son.
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