Survivor of Jacksonville Shooting Sues EA and Venue | Gaming News
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The Plaintiff is charging eight potentially liable parties.
The survivor, Jacob Mitich, competed in the tournament and sustained injuries after being shot twice. The lawsuit in question (via The Hollywood Reporter) claims the various parties are liable due to negligence in not providing sufficient security measures, and for hosting the tournament at an unsuitable venue in the first place.
The lawsuit points at The Landing marketplace, which houses the GLHF Game Bar where the shooting took place. It states: “Once a thriving and popular shopping, dining and tourist destination, The Landing has become a hub of dangerous, violent and too often, deadly activity.” It further points to recent violence in the area, including a hit-and-run, a lethal stabbing and a double shooting, ultimately questioning EA's decision in holding the event in this location.
It addresses various defendants, claiming none of these parties notified the city of Jacksonville or its sheriff's department of the event, nor did any party provide adequate safety measures. Such safety measures cited by the lawsuit that are used in similar eSporting events include metal detectors, security guards, no-re-entry policies and more. The lawsuit notes Mitich's experience in the shooting, stating “The last thing Plaintiff recalls from this ordeal was the genuine belief that he was going to die.”
The Lawsuit also references an alleged incident at an earlier Madden event in Las Vegas where the shooter attempted to enter a taxi with another contestant, and became visibly upset when the contestant refused. This incident was allegedly reported to EA, but no actions were taken following this.
The Hollywood Reporter ran a quote from attourney James Young of Morgan & Morgan, stating: “Like many of his friends, Jacob Mitich traveled to Jacksonville last weekend to do what he loved. He trusted the event host and organizers, and believed that he was walking into a safe space. That trust was shattered when shots rang out in an overcrowded, since-shut-down, non-permitted space. Combined with an alleged abject failure to provide adequate security, the result was tragic.”
The shooting occurred on August 26, after which EA released the following statement: “The tragic situation that occurred Sunday in Jacksonville was a senseless act of violence that we strongly condemn. Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the victims whose lives were taken today and those who were injured.”
Three days later, EA announced it's establishing a $1 million fund for the Jacksonville victims, with all proceeds going towards supporting the victims of the attack and the families of the two attendees who lost their lives, Taylor Robinson and Elijah Clayton.
Other industry events have announced measures to increase security in reaction to the shooting in Jacksonville. One event that informed fans of its security measures was PAX West, which is currently being held at Seattle's Washington State Convention Center from August 31 through September 3.
Colin Stevens is a freelance writer for Tech. Follow him on Twitter.