Survivors of the shooting at a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, intend to file a lawsuit for negligent security, lawyers said.
The shooting took place on Sunday and resulted in three deaths and multiple injuries requiring hospitalization, when gunman David Katz, a competitor at the event, opened fire in Jacksonville's GLHF Game Bar. USA Today reported Tuesday that Matt Morgan of the Florida-based Morgan & Morgan law firm announced that he and others within the firm would be representing survivors with plans to file a lawsuit. He commented on the lack of security at the event and said that people have watched incidents such as the Jacksonville shooting happen in the past.
"Unfortunately, the country has watched this unfold too often in the past," Morgan said. "This is not the time in America for bare-bones security or, even worse, no security at all."
No clients were named during Morgan's announcement, but he did say that one of the clients that retained the firm was shot twice during the incident. Others, he said, were victims of both physical and emotional injuries. Morgan shared an announcement Monday on Twitter prior to the new details that confirmed the firm had been retained by the victims and said that the firm was of the mindset that the situation could've been avoided.
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
"It is foreseeable that shootings could occur at this location," he said. "Esports are big business. This is the type of event that has to have the highest level of security."
Morgan did not specify who the target of the negligent security lawsuit was either, though there are several parties at play. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar that's housed in a Chicago Pizza restaurant, which is part of the Jacksonville Landing complex that's owned by the city of Jacksonville. There's also Electronic Arts, the organizer for the event and the publisher of the Madden NFL games. EA CEO Andrew Wilson shared a statement on Monday discussing the shooting while announcing that three other Madden NFL events would be cancelled while the publisher reviewed its plans for security.
"The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season," part of Wilson's statement said. "While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players. We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."