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Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Kroger, company employees after former manager took his own life

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The family of a local man is suing Kroger and two of the company’s employees because they claim their loved one took his own life after being harassed and ridiculed by his superiors for months.

Evan Seyfried, 40, worked at Kroger for 19 years, recently as the manager of the dairy department at the Milford location, according to his family. In early March, records show Seyfried quit his job.

Days after that, Seyfried’s brother, Eric, said Seyfried took his own life.

“My brother was the most loving person I’ve ever met. His core, north direction was empathy,” Eric said. “He was a dedicated, hard-working, and loyal employee. His identity was really tied up in his ability to provide for himself.”

An attorney who is now representing Seyfried’s family has since filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County against Kroger and two company employees. The claims listed in the suit range from wrongful death to conspiracy, sexual harassment, invasion of privacy and more.

The lawsuit states that Seyfried was mocked for his beliefs surrounding COVID-19 and harassed for his political views while at work.

The documents also allege that Seyfried was repeatedly followed home, received threatening text messages and was sent child pornography, all in an effort to have him fired. Those incidents, the suit claims, led to Seyfried’s suicide.

“Kroger, as a corporation, is responsible for the acts of their employees, specifically those that are tasked with making pronounced decisions that impact people’s lives,” Austin LiPuma, the attorney for Seyfried’s family, said.

As for Kroger, a spokesperson released a statement that reads:

“The loss of any associate is heartbreaking for our company. We share our sympathies with the Seyfried family and our associates following the loss of longtime associate Evan Seyfried. In line with our values, we are offering counseling services to our associates at the Milford, Ohio location. Due to pending litigation, we are unable to comment further at this time but can share we are actively investigating the matter.”

Seyfried’s family members say Seyfried had no history of mental illness before his death.

FOX19 has not been able to connect with the two Kroger managers who are named in the lawsuit.

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