Several survivors of Sunday’s shooting at a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville plan to file a negligent-security lawsuit against this week, lawyers have said.
Matt Morgan of the Orlando-based law firm Morgan & Morgan announced during a Tuesday press conference that his firm’s clients include one person who was shot twice in Sunday’s assault, as well as others who suffered physical or emotional injuries when David Katz, 24, opened fire at the video game competition at GLHF Game Bar.
“Business as usual on the security front will no longer be tolerated by Americans,” Morgan said, as quoted by the HuffPost. “We must demand more from business owners. It’s time for business owners and event organizers to step up their game.”
The firm said it will file the lawsuit this week, contending it is necessary to take action so soon after the shooting to “preserve all evidence,” the HuffPost reported.
We have been retained by a victim of the #Jacksonville Landing gaming tournament shooting. We are of the opinion this shooting could have, and should have, been prevented. Prayers to all those impacted by this senseless tragedy.— Matt Morgan (@MattMorganESQ) August 28, 2018
Morgan did not identify his clients, but added his firm continues to receive calls from survivors, USA Today reported. He also declined to say who the targets of the litigation are or the grounds of the expected lawsuit. The bar and restaurant that hosted the event are part of the Jacksonville Landing entertainment complex, a city-owned waterfront area. The event was organized by video game giant EA Sports.
“It is foreseeable that shootings could occur at this location,” Morgan said.
However, Morgan commented on Jacksonville Landing’s history of gun violence as a strong indication that further security measures should have been taken, according to the HuffPost report. Morgan & Morgan’s local branch sits right across from the landing, and the firm mentioned its office building was shot at in the last two months.
“Unfortunately, the country has watched this unfold too often in the past,” Morgan said, referencing the country’s history of mass shootings. “This is not the time in America for bare-bones security or, even worse, no security at all.”
One of the potential targets could be EA Sports. Its CEO Andrew Wilson released a statement Monday announcing the cancellation of the remaining Madden Classic qualifying tournaments to review its security protocols.
“We’ve all been deeply affected by what took place in Jacksonville,” Wilson said in the written statement. “This is the first time we’ve had to confront something like this as an organization, and I believe the first time our gaming community has dealt with a tragedy of this nature. Please take time to support each other through this challenging time.”